Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

I’m not sure what has changed in my schedule these days, but lately feel as though I have a lot less time than before. Yes, I come into lab late at night sometimes and on weekends for various experiments, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Even more strange is that I feel like I spend less time cooking/baking than I used to, and have missed a day or two here and there at the gym (which is so not like me). Where has all the time gone??

With this mysterious change in time, recipes that require less time are even more enticing than usual. Enter this quick and healthy chowder. Chowders are definitely comfort food, and they become even more comforting when they are healthified! This recipe caught my attention because of my my happy experience with cauliflower pizza crust. It’s made with cauliflower and milk instead of potatoes and heavy cream, which magically tastes almost like the real thing but with less carbs.

Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder


BACON-CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER CHOWDER

Serves 8

Ingredients:

8 slices center-cut bacon, chopped (half used for garnish)

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt & pepper

4 cups shredded or grated cauliflower (1/2 large head)

2 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided

2 cups 2% milk

3-4 dashes hot sauce

2-1/2 cups (12oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

2 green onions, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup chicken broth in a small bowl then set aside.
  2. Saute bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate then remove all but 1 Tablespoon drippings from the pot. Add chopped onion, celery, and garlic to the pot then season with salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower to the pot then stir to combine. Add water then place a lid on top and steam cauliflower until tender, stirring a couple times, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and milk then turn up heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Slowly whisk in flour/chicken broth mixture while stirring, then turn down heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until chowder has thickened (if desired, puree half the soup with a blender or immersion blender). Turn off heat then stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese until smooth, then stir in half the cooked bacon. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce if necessary. Serve topped with remaining shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and green onions, if desired.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats

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