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Back when I asked for suggestions for my Family Favorite Entrees THMified post, I was blown away by the number of you that requested a cheesy party potato recipe that would fit the THM lifestyle. This request was a little tricky because 1) potatoes are not recommended on plan, and 2) potatoes are not recommended on plan. 😛 Oh, and 3) potato substitutes don’t taste like potatoes. However, I said I would try to come up with something, so I made (and ate) many valiant attempts that ranged from super disgusting to almost palatable. The final Cheesy Party “Potatoes” recipe is yummy and garlicky with a surprising combination of non-starchy veggies that provide a taste and texture closer to hashbrown potatoes than anything I’ve tried before! They are NOT potatoes and therefore will not taste exactly like potatoes, but they do make a delicious and nutritious cheesy side dish that would be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner! I happen to think that this is as good as you’re going to get without potatoes, but I’m willing to be proven wrong.
What’s the secret? Turnips and cauliflower. I didn’t want to use cauliflower only because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the grated hashbrown texture. I’ve used grated turnip (a Fuel Pull non-starchy) in the Breakfast Casserole recipe in my cookbook where it worked well, so I decided to give it another try. I asked my mom to pick up some turnips for me at the local grocery store, and she came home with some big lunkers! Excited about my new idea, I grated them up (not bothering to peel them), added a cheesy sauce, and popped it in the oven where it baked up beautifully. I tasted it with bated breath…and immediately my heart sank. My “potatoes” were nearly soupy because of all the juices that had escaped the grated turnip in the baking process, but the bigger problem was that the whole pan tasted overwhelmingly of something akin to horseradish! I like horseradish, but not when I’m shooting for a mild, cheesy potato recipe.
Take 2 had issues as well, but for Take 3 (this recipe) I used small turnips (they’re MUCH more mild in flavor), peeled them, roasted them to eliminate excess moisture, and added cauliflower for even more mild flavor. Perfect! You may be able to detect a slight trace of turnip flavor, but it’s very slight and the texture is wonderful.
There are a few other veggies you could try in place of the turnips if you prefer (I’ve covered this in the Notes section of the recipe), but I chose turnips for their softer texture and easy availability. I thought about using radishes but didn’t have a good way to get large radishes and didn’t feel like grating a whole bunch of teensy tiny radishes. Besides, I’m concerned that large radishes would have the same strength of flavor as large turnips do. Does anyone know if that’s the case?
Looking for a runnier scalloped “potato” recipe? Try the Scalloped Cauli & Ham on pg. 78 of my cookbook, Necessary Food! That would be a good recipe option if you’re not into trying the whole turnip thing.
Want to see how it’s made? Check out this video!
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As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission to help defray the costs of running this blog (at no extra charge to you). Thanks for your help!
- 4 c. peeled, grated turnip (gently packed)*
- 1 (1 lb.) bag frozen cauliflower florets (thawed)
- 1½ c. grated cheddar cheese
- 1 c. cottage cheese
- 1 T. salted butter (softened)
- 1 lg. (or 2 sm.) garlic clove (peeled)
- 2 tsp. chicken bouillon (not low sodium)**
- 1 tsp. each onion powder, parsley flakes
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. THM Super Sweet Blend
- ⅛ tsp. turmeric (for color)
- 3 T. oat fiber
- Additional ½ c. grated cheddar cheese
- Parsley flakes
- Spread the grated turnip and cauliflower out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and roast at 450* for 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350* to prepare for baking the casserole.
- While the veggies are baking, make the cheese mixture. Add the second section of ingredients (grated cheddar cheese - turmeric) to a blender and blend to a thick paste.
- Put the turnips and cauliflower in a mixing bowl and add the oat fiber. Use a pastry cutter to chop up the cauliflower and distribute the oat fiber at the same time. Add the cheese mixture and mix everything up with a spatula. Spread the mixture into a greased 8"x8" baking dish and top with the additional cheese and parsley flakes.
- Bake (uncovered) at 350* for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly and the veggies are tender.
**Because people usually ask, I recommend a high-quality chicken bouillon like Better Than Bouillon. (I consider this to fall under the "1 g of sugar or less per serving" rule for store-bought condiments.) If using low-sodium bouillon, you may need to add a little salt to the recipe.
I used oat fiber to help soak up some of the moisture from the vegetables and do not recommend leaving it out or substituting for it unless you're OK with a runnier product. To answer a FAQ, no, oat bran and oat fiber are not the same thing and are not interchangeable. We purchase this brand of oat fiber from Netrition.
Obviously these are not potatoes and will not taste exactly like potatoes, but they're a good substitute! I chose a combination of cauliflower and turnip for my favorite taste and texture, but you could try substituting grated jicama or radish for the turnip if you're up to a little experimenting, or even just use all cauliflower. Various vegetables may need longer baking times to soften up (especially jicama!). The texture may vary.
NUTRITION (per serving): 182 calories, 12 g fat, 8 g carb., 3 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein (Carbs minus dietary fiber = 5 g net carb.)