Keto Cauliflower Ziti

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This cauliflower ziti is cheesy, filling, and flavorful. All without the excessive carbs! It’s low-carb, high-protein, and gluten-free!

One of the things that I dislike about a keto diet is that I miss my favorite Italian recipes. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Italian?

But who says that Italian and keto cannot go together? It’s all a matter of modifying certain ingredients to make it a low-carb version. Today, I am sharing with you my delicious keto cauliflower recipe.

This mouth-watering dish combines the comfort of traditional Italian ziti with the low-carb benefits of cauliflower. It’s perfect for those who are eager to explore healthy and tasty alternatives without sacrificing their beloved pasta dishes.

Keto Cauliflower Ziti

Cauliflower is not just a versatile vegetable, making it ideal for those following a keto diet, but it’s also packed with essential nutrients. So, not only are you getting a delicious meal, but one that is highly nutritious, making it ideal to nurture your whole family.

In my experience, everyone loves this. Low carb or not, it tastes like magic.

Now, if you are not a cauliflower fan (some of my family members are not), let me assure you that whenever I serve this dish, they forget that it has cauliflower. They all say that it tastes like a traditional ziti recipe.

One of the things that I love about this recipe is that you can easily make it your own. Whenever I feel like doing Meatless Monday, I switch the beef and replace it with all plant-based ingredients.

recipe for Keto Cauliflower Ziti

Ingredients and Substitutes

1 cauliflower head – This is the star of the dish, so make sure you don’t replace it with anything else since it may affect the flavors and end result.

Olive oil (1 tbsp) – avocado oil works too.

1 onion – For those following “lazy cooking,” try using onion flakes.

4 garlic cloves – Just like with onions, you can also use garlic flakes. My favorite hack is to mince some garlic and place it in a jar with olive oil.

That way, whenever I need garlic, I take it from the fridge and add it straight to the pan.

Paprika (1 tsp) – You can also use cayenne pepper, or for a smoky flavor, try using a sprinkle of chipotle powder.

Lean ground beef (1 lb)- To make a vegetarian version, replace the ground beef with plant-based meat or add more vegetables, like mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers.

You can also swap the ground beef for ground turkey, chicken, or even pork (or when I’m feeling creative, I use a combination of two types).

Salt and black pepper

Tomato paste (2 tbsp)

Oregano (1 tsp) – If you are looking to add more flavor, you can add some fresh basil or parsley once it’s cooked. Or, for those feeling adventurous, try adding some chili flakes when cooking the meat.

Chopped tomatoes (2 14oz cans)

Ricotta cheese (2 cups) – For those who are lactose intolerant or prefer a dairy-free alternative, replace all the cheeses with plant-based alternatives.

Mozzarella cheese (2 cups) – Don’t go for the low-fat option since it doesn’t melt the way that regular mozzarella cheese does.

Parmesan cheese (½ cup) – If you want a plant-based option, you can use nutritional yeast to provide that “cheesy” flavor.

ingredients for Keto Cauliflower Ziti

How to Make Keto Cauliflower Ziti

Step 1. Preheat your oven to 375F and prepare a 9×13 baking dish. This will ensure you are ready to assemble your ziti as soon as the ingredients are all ready. In a large pot, boil some water, then add the cauliflower florets.

Cook for about 3 minutes until the cauliflower is steamed but still crispy. Drain the water and set aside in a bowl.

Step 2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions.

Step 3. Sauté until it becomes translucent, which should take roughly 5 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic and paprika.

Step 4. Cook for another minute until it’s golden brown.

Step 5. Add the ground beef to the skillet, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Break the meat apart and cook until it browns, which should take about 5-7 minutes.

Step 6. Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, and chopped tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Once thickened, remove from the heat.

Step 7. Grab the beef mixture and pour it over the steamed cauliflower in a large bowl.

Step 8. Combine everything thoroughly.

instructions for how to make Keto Cauliflower Ziti

Step 9. In your prepared baking dish, spread half of the cauliflower and beef mixture.

Step 10. Top with 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.

Step 11. Add the remaining cauliflower mixture on top.

Step 12. Grab the rest of the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese and place it on top of the cauliflower mixture.

Step 13. Bake the assembled ziti in the oven for 25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve hot.

step by step how to make Keto Cauliflower Ziti

What to Serve with This Keto Cauliflower Ziti

I really think that this dish is just delicious on its own, but there are some sides that can elevate the dish even more.

Try serving it with a crisp garden salad with a light vinaigrette to add some freshness and help balance the richness of the ziti.

You can also have some garlic keto bread, which works perfectly to soak up any leftovers from the sauce.

For those who need a more balanced approach, try adding some quinoa salad or regular garlic bread to provide some carbs to the meal.

baked Keto Cauliflower Ziti

Storage Tips

If you have leftovers, you are going to want to store the ziti properly to maintain its deliciousness (I know I always do!).

Allow the ziti to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight glass container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

If you want to store it for a longer time, portion the ziti into freezer-safe containers and freeze it for up to three months. Once you are ready to enjoy it again, reheat the refrigerated ziti in the over or the microwave.

Reheating Tip!

Now, make sure you defrost the ziti in the fridge before reheating it the next day. I realized that this way, it makes sure everything gets thoroughly cooked and keeps its consistency and flavor intact.

high protein Keto Cauliflower Ziti

Other Keto Recipes

keto cauliflower ziti
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Keto Cauliflower Ziti

This keto cauliflower ziti is cheesy, filling and flavorful. Yet packed with all the good veggies! It's low carb, high protein and gluten-free.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 56 minutes
Total: 1 hour 6 minutes
Servings: 8 bowls

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 large cauliflower head cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. And prepare a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Boil up some water and add cauliflower florets to it. Cook for about 3 minutes until cauliflower has steamed. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  • In a large skillet, heat up olive oil to medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent for about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, and paprika and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Add in ground beef, salt, and black pepper. Break the meat apart and cook until it browns up for 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, and chopped tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Then, remove from the heat.
  • Pour the beef mixture over the steamed cauliflower and combine.
  • Take half of the cauliflower beef mixture and spread it in the baking dish. Top it up with 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
  • Top it up with the rest of the cauliflower mixture and then the remainder of the ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 min and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bowl | Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 922.8mg | Fiber: 4.1g | Sugar: 6.5g | Calcium: 425mg | Iron: 2.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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