Italian Cauliflower Nachos
Crispy roasted cauliflower topped with classic Italian toppings and melty mozzarella cheese, these nachos are a wonderful mix of healthy and decadence that will satisfy your snack cravings, yet fill your body with healthy goodness at the same time.
I’ve been wanting to make Italian nachos for a long, long time. I used to love the Italian nachos at Old Chicago … and I’ve heard that Johnny Carino’s has an awesome version of Italian nachos as well (although I haven’t tried them yet!). I have been planning this culinary adventure for a long time … I had even fried up some flour tortilla chips to use for my Italian nachos, but then it struck me. Why couldn’t you make Italian nachos with crispy roasted cauliflower in place of the chips? Huh. That might just be a thing. A beautiful thing.
I happened to have some cauliflower in my fridge so I decided to roast it up and give this crazy idea a try. I had initially meant to include things like artichoke hearts, sliced pepperoncini peppers, and black olives on my Italian nachos, but I was in a rush and didn’t feel like rummaging through my cupboard to find those ingredients (although I DO have them, in preparation for this Italian nacho masterpiece I’ve been planning forever). Feel free to add them if those things bring you joy. And if you like your onions and mushrooms for your nachos sauteed, well then, I would say go for it! Make this adventure your own.
The result was definitely delicious and I would totally make this again. It’s surprisingly filling … I could only eat about 1/4 of this plate myself. I do have a small stomach, though, so I’m guessing normally this plate would serve 2- 3 people … or 1 hefty appetite.
- 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (or Mrs. Dash)
- 5 - 8 thin slices of pepperoni, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cooked hot Italian sausage crumbles
- A few fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons chopped red onion
- About 1 cup or so of shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (or more, if needed)
- Fresh basil leaves, cut in small slices (chiffonade)
- Warm marinara sauce, for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of seasonings. Pour the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet and set in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir and cook for another 10 minutes or so or until the cauliflower are browned and crispy in spots. Remove from the oven.
- Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients. Make a layer of cauliflower on a microwave (or oven) safe plate, top with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and onions, then sprinkle on the cheese. Make another smaller layer of cauliflower and again top it with the rest of the pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and the cheese.
- Microwave or bake the plate of nachos until the cheese is fully melted. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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