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Cauliflower Gratin

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Classic Cauliflower Gratin, also known as cauliflower cheese, is a traditional side dish that goes perfectly with roasted chicken, steak, and fish. Tender cauliflower is coated in a creamy white sauce, topped with cheddar cheese and baked to perfection!

Cheese topped cauliflower in a creamy sauce in a white baking dish with salt and pepper shakers in the background.

What is Cauliflower Gratin?

It is a traditional British dish that can be eaten as a main course for lunch or diner, or as a side dish with roast meat and potatoes.

Cauliflower cheese consists of pieces of cauliflower that are lightly steamed and covered with a creamy cheese sauce and grated cheese.

Baked Cauliflower Gratin Ingredients:

  • a large head of cauliflower broken down into pieces.
  • Butter and flour to create a roux to thicken the sauce.
  • Whole milk as the base of your sauce. I used Simple Truth Organic lactose-free milk.
  • Sharp, white cheddar cheese. Cheese aged longer than 90 days is lactose-free.
  • Dry mustard powder and nutmeg, along with sea salt and black pepper are added for additional flavoring.
Cauliflower Gratin ingredients in white bowls.

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How to make Cauliflower Gratin:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a shallow, 1.5 to 2-quart casserole dish.

Place the cauliflower pieces in a steamer basket. Place the basket over simmering water in a large pot, cover and cook until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Steamed cauliflower in a metal steamer inside a large pot.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to create a roux.

Butter and flour simmering in a saucepan.

Slowly pour in the milk, constantly whisking to combine until completely smooth and all the milk has been added.

Milk, melted butter and flour in a saucepan with a wire whisk on the edge.

Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking occasionally until sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cheese a bit at a time, reserving a handful for later. Stir until cheese is completely melted.

Grated cheese added to the milk mixture in a saucepan.

Tip: you could use a combination of other hard cheeses if you prefer.

Stir in the dry mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Spread the cooked cauliflower evenly in the casserole dish,

Steamed cauliflower in a white baking dish.

and pour the cheese sauce over the top.

Cheese sauce poured over the steamed cauliflower in a white baking dish.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Grated cheese on top of the cauliflower and sauce mixture in a white baking dish.

Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Looking down on an oval baking dish filled with baked, cheesy cauliflower.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Cauliflower pieces topped with a creamy cheese sauce on a blue plate with a black fork poking in on the right side.

It tastes just like macaroni and cheese without the added carbs in pasta.

Recipe Notes:

  • The sauce thickens as it cools.
  • Use gluten-free flour if needed.
  • For added texture, you could mix 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs with the remaining grated cheese before adding to the casserole.

What to serve with Cauliflower Gratin:

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Enjoy!!

Cauliflower Gratin in a white baking dish.

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin, also known as cauliflower cheese, is a traditional side dish that goes perfectly with roasted chicken, steak, and fish.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British, Irish
Keyword: cauliflower cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • Baking Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • .25 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • pinch sea salt
  • .13 teaspoon black pepper 1/8th
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar grated

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a shallow, 1.5 to 2-quart casserole dish.
  • Place the cauliflower pieces in a steamer basket. Place the basket over simmering water in a large pot, cover and cook until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to create a roux.
  • Slowly pour in the milk, constantly whisking to combine until completely smooth and all the milk has been added. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking occasionally until sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the cheese a bit at a time, reserving a handful for later. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Stir in the dry mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Spread the cooked cauliflower evenly in the casserole dish, and pour the cheese sauce over the top.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.* Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • The sauce thickens as it cools.
  • *For added texture, you could mix 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs with the remaining grated cheese before adding to the casserole.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 345mg | Iron: 1mg

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