This casserole is ideal for people who are avoiding starches, and for those who are minimizing their carbohydrate intake. And as a bonus, this casserole is dairy- free.
But of course if you love cheese, and as we all know cheese makes everything taste even better… Please, by all means, add grated cheddar cheese. (Read “Tess’ Kitchen Secrets” below for details.)
8 ounce hot pork sausage (Tennessee Pride Country Sausage)
2 lbs. ground beef, 93% lean
2 TBSPs. light olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsps. coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 cups frozen green beans
1 cup frozen green peas
2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into smaller chunks
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add light olive oil. Crumble and cook the pork sausage. Be sure to stir the sausage constantly so it won’t burn. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage onto a platter.
Keep the drippings in the skillet over medium heat.
With the dripping in the skillet, crumble the ground beef. Add sea salt or kosher salt, dried thyme, ground black pepper, and granulated garlic. Keep stirring until ground beef is cooked. Add the chopped onions and cooked sausage. Stir until onions are translucent. Transfer beef/sausage /onion mixture into 13” x 9” x 2” baking pan, spreading them evenly. Set aside.
Fill a pot with 2 quarts of water. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring water to a boil. Add frozen green beans. Boil green beans until cooked, about 6 – 7 minutes. With a bamboo skimmer, remove green beans from the boiling water. Let the water drip from the green beans before spreading them over the ground beef/sausage layer.
Keep the water boiling and add the frozen green peas. Boil green peas until cooked, about 3 minutes. Again, with a bamboo skimmer, remove green peas from the boiling water and spread them over the green beans layer. Set aside.
Keep the same water boiling and add the cut up cauliflower. Cover the pot and boil cauliflower until soft, about 12 minutes. Drain cauliflower on a colander. Add the drained cauliflower back into the empty pot over medium low heat. Mash cauliflower until smooth and texture resembles mashed potatoes.
Spread mashed cauliflower over the green peas/beans layer.
Bake casserole in a preheated oven at 375°F for 45- 55 minutes or until cauliflower is light golden brown.
Serve as a stand alone meal.
Tess’ Kitchen Secrets:
1. You can make this casserole cheesy by topping each layer with ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese. A total of 1 ½ cups for the whole pan. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake casserole for 35 – 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
2. You can also make the mashed cauliflower creamier by adding 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons sour cream.
3. In my experience, Tennessee Pride Country Sausage is better than the most popular brands, in terms of taste and texture (less tough and chewy tendons than Jimmy Dean).
Please ignore the green beans and peas showing. This was my first test. And decided on next test to double the cauliflower. That’s why I used to 2 medium heads.
The final and finished product below contains 2 medium heads cauliflower, mashed.
This is how it looks like after 55 minutes in the oven at 375°F…