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Total time

60 minutes






  • 2 Medium cauliflower, (cleaned and cut into florets (about 5 cups))
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
  • 1 lb ground turkey or Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1½ tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp dried fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, thoroughly drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each coarse salt, ground black pepper, granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Pepperoni slices
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and basil (for garnish)
  • crushed red pepper flakes (for garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet. Coat with two tablespoons olive oil and toss with a generous pinch of coarse salt and black pepper. Roast cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the oven.

    In the meantime, heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot to medium heat. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add ground turkey or Italian sausage and break it up with a spatula, cooking until browned, about 4-5 minutes.

    Stir in garlic, basil, oregano and fennel. Add tomatoes, crushing with the spatula, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer at medium-high heat and allow to cook 15-20 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and sugar.

    Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in heavy cream. Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree, if desired. Grease a glass or ceramic casserole dish.

    Layer half of the cauliflower, tomato cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, tomato cream sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and Parmesan cheese.

    Bake 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until cheese is bubbly and brown. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with parsley, basil and red pepper flakes.
  2. View the recipe instructions at The Gourmet RD

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