Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet


Grated cauliflower forms the crust of this Low-Carb Breakfast skillet, which is filled with eggs, bacon, cheese, and green onions.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Oh, hi!

Just coming at you from under 10″ of un-forecasted snow. NBD. Ben’s had to dig us out twice since Tuesday, and came in after the second time with a reminder that at this time last year we were enjoying random 80 degree days, and the trees were even starting to bud. BUDDING TREES! Were art thou now?

Ah well, such is life in the Midwest. Our Fall is really great!

Anyways, I’ve been in somewhat of a recipe rut lately so I took the time spent stuck indoors to do some recipe brainstorming using the ingredients I already had on hand. I actually love doing this little “exercise” as it forces you to get creative with your meals AND uses up food you already have in the house. Here’s what I found in my kitchen:

Bacon. Obviously. Whole Foods’ uncured smokehouse center-cut bacon is a staple in this household. It’s got the perfect bacon flavor, and is nice and thick. Diner bacon, if you will!

Eggs. I don’t post a lot of egg recipes here on IGE, but Ben and I love egg-based dishes like 5 minute Egg Drop Soup and scrambled eggs and avocados. Eggs are fast, filling, and inexpensive, so we always keep a fresh dozen in the fridge.

Sharp Cheddar. There is always, always, always a big block of sharp cheddar cheese holding rank in our cheese drawer. I keep it on hand to slice and serve with apples or crackers (does a better snack exist?) shred and add into sauces, and well, look pretty. We love cheese.

Cauliflower. While Ben prefers his veggies steamed, I love mine tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then roasted until golden brown in a hot oven – especially cauliflower. It is so, SO good! I also like grating it up and using it in place of rice or potatoes in dishes like Maple Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice, and Low-Carb Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder.

After peeking and poking around for a few more ingredients, I decided to mix and mash all my findings to create a Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet. I could not be more happy with how it turned out!

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Fresh cauliflower is grated then sauteed until golden brown to mimic the texture and flavor of hash browns (seriously – you will be shocked at how similar they taste!) Fresh eggs, crumbled bacon, chopped green onion, shredded cheddar cheese and seasonings are mixed then poured on top and then broiled until golden brown. This is an egg UN-casserole, if you will, and super light yet filling.

The best part is that you can refrigerate the leftovers then reheat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner the next day. Low-carb, and make-ahead. What more could ya’ ask for?

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Start by fitting a food processor with a grating disc. If you don’t have one of these then a box grater will work JUST as well! If you don’t have a box grater then just chop the cauliflower up as small as you can.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Cut a small head of cauliflower in half, then grate it into shreds. You’ll need 2 cups grated cauliflower total.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Next heat a medium-sized, oven-proof skillet over medium heat then melt 1 Tablespoon butter with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the grated cauliflower then saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown (mine got a bit uh, burnt, when I wasn’t looking. You’ll want to avoid that!) Season with lots of salt & pepper here too!

As I mentioned above, grated cauliflower is a GREAT substitution for hash browns if you’re watching your carb intake. It doesn’t have the same creamy mouth-feel but it’s definitely the best “healthy” swap I’ve found for really anything, unlike spaghetti squash for spaghetti. (You’re not fooling anyone, spaghetti squash!)

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine all those refrigerator finds, including 2 whole eggs, 4 egg whites, and 3 chopped green onions.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

In goes 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar and 3 strips cooked & crumbled bacon (I used the microwave method to cook them.)

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Finally add salt & pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce, if you dare. I add hot sauce to all my egg dishes, actually. A few dashes doesn’t make them hot, just taste really good. Descriptive!

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Mix it all up with a fork to combine.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

K! Once the cauliflower is golden brown, spread it into an even layer in the bottom of the skillet then pour the egg mixture on top and then smooth. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the sides are set, running a spatula around the outsides a few times to make sure it’s not sticking.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Top with 1/2 cup more shredded cheddar cheese, then broil for 3-4 more minutes, or until the top is set, and cheese is melted.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Let the skillet cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve. (Oh, and make sure to use a hot pad when removing the skillet from the oven – that baby gets HOT!)

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

2 cups grated cauliflower (about 1/2 a small head)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
3 green onions, chopped
3 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled
hot sauce (to taste)


  1. Place oven rack to center slot then preheat broiler. Heat extra virgin olive oil and butter in a medium-sized, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower, season with salt & pepper, and then saute until golden brown and tender, about 5-7 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile add eggs, egg whites, 1/2 cup cheese, green onions, bacon, salt, pepper, and hot sauce into a large bowl then whisk with a fork to combine. When cauliflower is cooked, spread into an even layer in the bottom of the skillet then pour egg mixture over top and smooth with a spatula. Cook until sides are set, about 3-4 minutes, running a spatula around the outside to prevent sticking, then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
  3. Place under broiler then cook until top is set and cheese is bubbly, 3-4 minutes. Use a hot pad to remove skillet from oven then let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

I served my Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet for lunch with a big bowl of fresh fruit. At the time of this writing I have taken down nearly an entire pineapple in, oh, 15 hours, which I suppose defeats the purpose of the whole low-carb thing, but dangitall, they’re just so good right now! (Here’s how I cut a pineapple >)

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Hope you enjoy this light, low-carb meal!

Low-Carb Breafkast Skillet made with cauliflower hash browns | iowagirleats.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Kay 02.28.2013

    Brilliant idea!!! I never thought of this substitute and it makes sense! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Misty Lynn 02.28.2013

    I read a lot of cooking blogs and was just thinking how I see the same things over and over and then BAM! Cauliflower for hash browns. That swap had escaped me. I have all the ingredients in my fridge and will be trying this for breakfast tomorrow.

  3. Noelle 02.28.2013

    My grandmother did this all the time! We called it Cauliflower Pie haha She did it with shredded zucchini too, and then we called it–you guessed it–Zucchini Pie. How thrilled she’d be if she were here to see it on the web :)

  4. Rachel Dallaire 02.28.2013

    Thank-you so much for this recipe. I’m going to try it out later. Today I am on day 23 of the Atkins Induction phase and I’m learning that variety is the best way to keep going. :-) I have a long way to go on this phase (I started with 114 lbs to lose and have 99 to go!) and am learning new ways to cook and try eggs and vegetables every day, so thanks for sharing!

  5. Cauliflower in place of hash browns? Great idea! All I need is a mimosa and I’m good!

  6. Kelly 02.28.2013

    I’ve been reading your blog for such a long time now (addicted.), and I’ve noticed you never talk about your job anymore! Are focusing more on your blog + freelance writing? Just curious.. :) Keep up the excellent work, lady!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.28.2013

      First of all, thank you for being such a long time reader – I love it! I write the blog and freelance blog/write for several companies/brands full time now. Keeps me crazy busy, but I love what I get to do every single day!

      • Kelly 02.28.2013

        That is AWESOME! We can tell you love what you do. :) Keep up the good work!

  7. amy 02.28.2013

    I don’t suppose you’d do a tutorial on how to use the grating disk on the food processor? I have one but lost the instructions :(

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to breakfast, so this will offer some great new variety into my breakfast routine. Plus, it looks delicious!! :)

  9. Annie 02.28.2013

    This looks so tasty! I have tried the whole cauliflower pizza crust thing but thinking of them as a hash brown substitute is a great idea!

  10. I love the fact that this is re-heat friendly. Quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner! yay!

  11. LOVE the idea of subbing in cauliflower for the hash browns although my potato-lovin’ fiance may protest.

    Maybe he doesn’t have to know…hmmm…

  12. i cannot understand how you guys got so much snow and we are literally just sitting pretty up here in the twin cities (32 degrees, it felt downright balmy today)! and now that i said that, we’ll probably get dumped on this weekend. this looks delicious!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.28.2013

      It was the craziest storm – where Ben works, about 7 miles east, they got 5″ total over 2 days, yet over our house, and even a few miles west, 10-12″. So strange!

  13. Allison 02.28.2013

    We are supposed to get more snow, too. Not that we can necessarily trust the meteorologists around here….

    Nice sunflower Fiestaware. I have a lot of Fiestaware; it is the best.

    I usually have these ingredients (except for the cauliflower) on hand…. Might try this one! Thanks!!

  14. What a great substitution! Egg dishes like this are soo easy too, what a great, quick and healthy meal!

  15. Rosie 02.28.2013

    In a Recipe Rutt? Would you mind doing some Plantain Recipes? My family is now gluten free and my kids have been enjoying sautéed plantains. I would love to see what you could come up with!

  16. Here in Chicago the snow is melting now. We only got 5 inches luckily. Isn’t it crazy how versatile cauliflower is? I used it in place of cous cous the other day. I am going to try this next time I buy some cauliflower.

  17. Love the cauliflower idea. I’ve recently seen it used as a pizza crust so I guess I better give one of these a try! Thanks!

  18. We got snowed in too!I ate popcorn and drank hot chocolate until I wanted to puke. So I decided to eat veggies with every meal for the rest of the week to undo the damage. I tend to only want fruit at breakfast and the veggie scrambles were getting old. So this recipe came at the perfect time.

  19. Chris 02.28.2013

    Just wanted 2 tell u how much I enjoy ur blog. I follow several & by far urs is the simplest 2 cook from. I am a visual person & love that u post several pics w/ ur steps. The easy print button is also a big plus.

  20. Amber 02.28.2013

    Love this idea of experimenting with stuff you already have in the fridge-I just did that for the past few dinners! We have signed up for a “community farm share” in which we will start picking up our fresh local veggies and such from a community farm once a week (super excited to get away from the gross Kroger store produce). So I’ll be experimenting with all sorts of meals like this, especially since we’ll be getting eggs along with the produce. Thanks for the suggestion!

  21. Brenda 02.28.2013

    I am going to try the sub of cauliflower for potatoes. I need to cut carbs, and this sounds like a great substitution for potatoes in an egg dish.

  22. I really need to try this whole grated cauliflower thing. I’m intrigued!

  23. Jodea @ chillichocolatelove.com 03.01.2013

    Bet it tastes even better the next day! I’ve just ordered a whole pineapple in this week’s shopping. I had one recently that was SO good. I think we’re craving a little tropical sunshine after a looooong winter.

  24. Brita 03.01.2013

    I looove cauliflower, and this recipe sounds delightful! Your recipes are always so do-able, made with the things that I would actually find in my kitchen too. that’s what makes me think I can do these things :)

  25. Danielle 03.01.2013

    This looks awesome! About how long does it take to brown the cauliflower?

  26. So easy and yet so tasty!

  27. I am 100% all for subbing cauliflower for ~health~! But cauliflower rice/grated cauliflower is something I haven’t tried yet. This sounds so good!

  28. Steph 03.06.2013

    I have not had good luck with cauliflower in a breakfast dish. Shaving off the sprouts from broccoli, I have had good luck with, because they seem to add a bit of a flavor that is complementary to egg dishes. I will try this recipe, however as it looks like it’s a matter of the right ingredients. Thanks!

  29. Carole 03.14.2013

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole’s Chatter is collecting links to posts about breakfast dishes. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . Please do check out some of the other links – there are a lot of good ones already. Cheers

  30. […] will go on my Christmas list The best part is that I don’t even have a pantry. *sigh* 3. Low Carb Breakfast Skillet This looks so much easier to make than an omelet. Maybe I should submit this recipe to my […]

Leave a Comment