Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This is a great low carb solution that still allows you to enjoy a comforting grilled cheese sandwich.

Yes, we’re still eating a ton of cauliflower at home. We also eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches, so this combines the best of both worlds.

Mr. K and I have consumed a ridiculous amount of cheese this year, mainly from grilled cheese sandwiches and cauliflower creations. I didn’t realize how much cheese we were eating until I was rummaging through the fridge and realized we were down to our last bar of Cabot cheese. This is particularly alarming because in March, I won $150 worth of Cabot cheese in a raffle contest, half of which was shipped to me at the end of March and half to be shipped to me in October. We’re still two months away from October and I’m already almost completely out of my first shipment of cheese. Eeek.


It was worth using up some premium cheddar cheese on these sandwiches though. They are so flavorful and the cauliflower crust holds up rather well. I can’t claim credit for this genius creation. It came from The Iron You and he basically took the method for making cauliflower pizza crust or cauliflower breadsticks and made them into bread slices instead. I made some tweaks to the recipe and methodology and my adapted method is below.

For another cauliflower bread recipe that could be used for grilled cheese, check out my Cauliflower Bread Buns with video! No need to dry out the cauliflower for this one!

Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  •  1 head of cauliflower,  cut into small florets and stem removed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 thick slices of white cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Place cauliflower into food processor and pulse until crumbs about half the size of a grain of rice.

2. Place cauliflower into large microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Your cauliflower should be soft and tender (and hot!). (If you don't want to use the microwave to dry out the cauliflower and prefer to steam and wring with a cloth to dry, check out my wringing instructions here.)

3. Stir cauliflower to mix up the bottom and top cauliflower. Place back into the microwave and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove and stir again so that all the cauliflower cooks evenly. Place back into microwave and cook for 5 minutes. At this point, you should see the cauliflower is starting to become more dry. Microwave for another 5 minutes. Cauliflower should still be slightly moist to the touch, but should look dry and clumped up (like photo above; similar to as if someone had chewed it up and spit it back out.) If you've made cauliflower pizza or breadsticks with the cloth wringing dry method, it should look the same.

4. Allow cauliflower to cool for a few minutes. Then add in egg, parmesan and seasoning. Stir to combine until smooth paste forms. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Place onto large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat. Using your knuckles and fingers, shape into square bread slices about 1/2 inch thick. Bake cauliflower bread for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes.

5. Using a good spatula, carefully slide cauliflower bread off of parchment paper. Now you are ready to assemble your sandwiches. Normally I make grilled cheese sandwiches on a pan, but since the cauliflower crust is more delicate, I didn't want to risk it breaking with too many flips on the stove. Instead, make 2 cauliflower sandwiches by adding a slice of cheese in between each pair of bread slices. Place sandwiches into toaster oven and broil for several minutes (5-10) until cheese is completely melted and bread is toasty. If you don't own a toaster oven, you can also do this in the oven.

Adapted from The Iron You

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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100 comments on “Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches”

  1. Oh no…..low on Cabot! October is just around the corner! Low carb or not-this is a great idea and I cannot wait to try it!~Carolyn @ Cabot

  2. You never said when to use the Parmesan.

  3. Can I use the oven instead of the microwave to heat up the cauliflower?

    • If you look at my instructions, i do have a method for not using microwave, where you cook and then wring it dry. it’s going to be a lot harder and longer to get the cauliflower completely dry with the oven

  4. I see this every time I log into Pinterest! It looks absolutely delish! I’m super excited to try it out. Hope you don’t mind I linked to it on my blog! http://ketogasm.com/cauliflower-low-carb-vegetable/

  5. What is the carb per sandwich?

    • there are several sites out there that calculate nutritional value of recipes such as caloriecount.com, so you can try using those sources to figure it out. hope that helps!

  6. I tried this last night, and had some questions. The ingredients say 1 egg, but the instructions say “eggs” and one of your comments here says to add the parmesan “with the eggs”. So….how many eggs?

    Can the steamed cauliflower be frozened? Or the “bread”?

    I spread the puree in a fairly thin layer over my Silpat sheet, then make cut lines with a knife. After baking the recommended time, I gently flipped the pieces over. After baking longer, I put it under the broiler for a few minutes. I left it on the tray over night, but I should have put them on a cooling rack to air dry a bit. However, I was still able to pan fry it. My daughter and I had some for breakfast and it was really good!

    • yikes, sorry about that! it is indeed just 1 egg! I’ve corrected the directions section to reflect that. I haven’t tried freezing the cauliflower bread of the the cooked cauliflower before, so unfortunately I don’t know the answers to those questions.

  7. How long do these last in the fridge? Do you think they can be frozen and reheated?

  8. Hey Kirbie, 
    Thank you so much for sharing this AWESOME recipe! It really does look delicious. I’ve tried cauliflower mash before, and we LOVED it, so I’m sure this is even better. I had no idea cauliflower would hold together so well-I am really excited to give this one a try <3

  9. Crazy question… Does the cauliflower have that distinct cooked cauliflower smell when microwaved and dried? I love raw cauliflower (and broccoli) but can’t stand the smell of either when cooked. 

  10. I’ve experimented with cauliflower pizza but have used almond flour too. What do you suggest for preventing the bread from sticking while cooking because of the cheese?

  11. LOVED THESE!! I just made these for the 1st time & loved them! I didn’t have any white cheddar so I used slices of velveeta. I will definitely be making these again! Gotta get me some white cheddar!!

  12. Just found this on pinterest and oh my gosh… cauli crust or not, this looks amazing. I love that golden crisp that you’ve got on the outside of the cauliflower *insert heart eye emoji*
    You have a lovely blog here Kirbie, I can’t wait to read more 🙂

  13. They turned out perfectly!  I could lift them easily and think I would melt the cheese in a fry pan next time.  Thanks for sharing this great recipe, one sandwich is VERY filling.

  14. Just made this for breakfast with a bit of ham and gruyere.  It was fabulous!  
    Next time I am going to try to measure before I make the slices so I can get a more predictable slice size and carb count.  Thanks for figuring it out.

  15. Yummy! I needed to use leftover cauliflower and came across this. Ok, I should have started it well before I did. It does take awhile to make but I followed your recipe and Love it! Who knew!?

    • So glad you enjoyed it! The first time it took me awhile to get the hang of it, but after you’ve done it once, I think the recipe should go much faster!

  16. Hi, the link for the method of steaming and drying the cauliflower (we don’t have a microwave) doesn’t work.

  17. Thank you KIRBIE i just made this for us and it was absolutely magnificently Delicious!!!! Super thank you for this amazing recipe!!!!!!!1st time and i can confess i am addicted!!!!!!  

  18. Can you use frozen cauliflower to start with? I can’t wait to try this!

    • I haven’t tried, but I think so! you might have to spend more time drying the cauliflower if it’s frozen though, so keep that in mind!

  19. If using the microwave steam in bag cauliflower, do you suggest I follow the directions on the bag then put it in the food processor and continue the steps for this recipe? The cauliflower becomes somewhat soft. Or should I process it frozen, or maybe just steam it for a minute or two instead of the full 5 so that it’s still hard?

    • Hi Christine- When you say bag cauliflower, are you talking about the frozen cauliflower that is already riced or a bag of frozen cauliflower florets? I haven’t worked with frozen prepackaged cauliflower yet, but I would think that you would just open the cauliflower, pulse in food processor if it’ not already finely riced, and follow the recipe and don’t do anything on the bag to cook it. The cauliflower will get cooked in the microwave first and then slowly get dehydrated as you continue to cook it longer. Your cooking time will probably be more or less depending on the kind of prepackaged cauliflower you are using, so don’t completely rely on the times set in the recipe. if it’s frozen raw cauliflower, i think it will take longer to dehydrate. if it’s already cooked frozen cauliflower, it will probably take less time. hope this helps!

  20. this recipe looks wonderful and i will try it. however, i think since this is food based you could have used a more appetizing analogy than “Cauliflower should still be slightly moist to the touch, but should look dry and clumped up (like photo above; SIMILAR TO AS IF SOMEONE HAD CHEWED IT UP AND SPIT IT BACK OUT.)” c’mon really?

    • I don’t often mix unappetizing images or thoughts with food posts, but in this case, it is what I believe to be the best description of what the end result is supposed to look like. And I think having the most accurate description is best otherwise it can be confusing for someone making it for the first time.

  21. These look so good. Can these be frozen for later use?

  22. I thought I knew all of the recipes for cauliflower mock dishes! This is fabulous – thanks

  23. Kirbie
    I don’t like cauliflower at all but I do eat low carb and this looks amazing, I love grilled cheese sandwiches so this will take out all the carbs I get with the regular one, the carbs will come in with the cheese and herb seasoning which is it a dry season or a liquid so I think it would be real low. Now I am from Louisiana and you saying chewing it and spitting it out didn’t bother me one bit because your not telling people to do that but only that it looks like that.

    • Thank for your comment! The herb seasoning is a dry mix. I’m glad you weren’t bothered by that description because I wasn’t either. It was the first I’ve heard of someone being upset by it!

  24. I made these today and I absolutely loved them! Actually my whole family said that they tasted like normal sandwiches (maybe even better :))

  25. Kirbie, this looks amazing! Thank you for sharing! I just recently started a low-carb diet and I see a lot of recipes using cauliflower as a substitute for bread or potatoes. Do you think other vegetables can be used instead of cauliflower, like broccoli for example?

  26. Hi Kirbie:
    These look delicious….. if you bake/broil in the oven for the final step do you flip
    the sandwiches half way through to get them crispy on both sides?
    Maureen from Canada

    • It’s up to you. You definitely can. I actually had mine on the wire rack in my toaster oven, so both sides were able to crisp up, though the top was obviously more crisp than the bottom.

  27. I have my cauliflower riced and frozen in freezer…can I get a approximation of how much (cups, grams?) to make this recipe?
    Thanks …really want to give it a try!

  28. The wringing instructions link is broken…can you please fix it? We don’t have a microwave so can’t do it that way. This looks awesome, can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  29. please i really have ben enjoying the cauliflower pizza crust question is can i make the batter and freeze as a ale
    ready cooked or just the rice frozened so i can make later
    \

  30. Do you leave the cauliflower uncovered when you are cooking it in the microwave or do you cover it the way you are supposed to cover regular food?

  31. I can’t wait to try all your recipes. I found you by accident. So glad l did????????????

  32. Has anyone tried melting the sandwich in a small George Forma-type grill or a panini grill? That’s how I always make my grilled cheese sandwiches.

  33. You may want to mention to add the egg after the cauliflower has cooled; otherwise, the egg will cook. I plan to try this!

  34. Any suggestions for someone who can’t have eggs?

  35. What else can be used if I don’t have a food processor??

  36. Hi Kirbie,
    I’ve tried this recipe and it came out fantastic! I used gouda instead of partisan, it worked just fine. Thank you for sharing this great recipe, it really helps on days when I’m craving a sandwich. PS, my husband too loves the sandwich and he’s very hard to convince! Thanks once again.
    Kathryn, South Africa

  37. I make this all the time. I absolutely love this. I never did precook it ad was delishous making raw.

  38. Made this tonight using the pre-done cauliflower rice in the refrigerated section of Trader Joes. LOVED it! I followed the instructions exactly (except subbed mozz. for parm because it was what I had) and it still turned out just fine Also added in some different dried herbs to add flavor and it worked out great. Thank you for this recipe and sooo glad I found it! (Also a lot easier doing the microwave process then squeezing out all the water.) Will definitely make this again!

  39. Looks scrumptious, Would baking the cauliflower in the oven for about 10 min dry it out? I don’t have a microwave & haven’t been successful wringing out enough water. Thanks.

    • You can probably dry it in the oven, but it would need a lot longer than 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, it will likely just be cooked and still have a lot of the moisture

      • Thanks.. Do you think 30 min would do it? What about using raw cauliflower? Appreciate your guidance,

      • It usually takes longer to dry something out in the oven because it needs to be done at a low heat, so I’d say closer to an hour with the cauliflower already in small pieces. But without trying it myself, i really don’t have exact times or temperatures. With regards to raw cauliflower, it still needs to be cooked and dried out otherwise when it is cooking it will get very moist. As an alternative, you can try out the cauliflower bread buns recipe (linked with video right above the recipe box). it doesn’t require drying out the cauliflower because it uses a little flour to absorb the moisture. It’s not quite the same texture as this cauliflower bread, but it does work as a bread

  40. Thanks so much for explaining. I was looking for a way around squeezing because of problems with my hands.

  41. This turned out perfectly! I made the “slices” about 1/4 inch thick instead of 1/2. Working with Cauliflower is a huge pain in the rump and there’s little bits all over my counter, but this is the best recipe I have tried with cauliflower since it is dried out so much. Everything else I have tried has fallen apart. Thank you!

    • yay! I’m so happy to hear that. I agree that cauliflower can get messy. But I do find that the microwave method helps to minimize some of that mess since you don’t have bits of cauliflower stuck on a wringing cloth. I think the taste ends up being worth it though!

  42. Can you freeze the cauliflower slices?

  43. I am in the process of making these. So excited for the end results! So I found it easier to use a small baking spatula and eggrings to form them and they are perfectly round!

  44. I have made these and loved them! Even my children are a huge fan !  I added chia seeds in as well…….as they are super nutritious, and do not change the flavor in any way !

    Thank you!

  45. My first riced cauliflower recipe and it came out fantastic. I can now have grilled cheese sandwiches again! Thank you.

    1

  46. It would be nice to include alternate directions for those who do not use a microwave.

  47. I commend you on your patience and willingness to gracefully answer similar questions repeatedly. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I miss grilled cheese!

  48. Hey Kirby, thank you for sharing, If I understand the cauliflower needs to be dried, could this be done in a dehydrator? I boughtvsome frozen riced cauliflower and I have a dehydrator.

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