This cauliflower cheese recipe (also known as a cauliflower gratin) is a wonderful side dish to classic meals like roast chicken. Made with fresh cauliflower and an irresistible cheese sauce, it’s hard not to fall in love with a vegetable when it tastes this good.
Traditionally, cauliflower cheese is a British recipe that’s enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish. If you’re looking for a vegetarian meal, you could certainly enjoy this cauliflower cheese recipe on its own. We think many prefer the recipe as a side dish, which is why we recommend it to be served alongside something else at lunch or dinner.
To prepare cauliflower cheese, you need to first boil your cauliflower to cook it. Once the cauliflower has been cooked, its placed in a baking dish and set aside while the cheese sauce is prepared.
The cheese sauce is made with a simple roux, a mixture of flour and butter, as well as cheese. The creamy, thick sauce is poured over the cauliflower in the baking dish, then topped with breadcrumbs. After that, it’s just a matter of allowing the cauliflower cheese to bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and gooey.
For this cauliflower cheese recipe, we used sharp cheddar cheese, but you can certainly use any cheese you enjoy, so long as it melts well. Other cheese variations could include gruyere or fontana cheese.
Cauliflower Cheese Recipe
- 1 large cauliflower (leaves removed), broken into florets
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a saucepan full of water to a boil, then add the cauliflower florets to the water. Cook in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower, then transfer the drained cauliflower to a 9″x13″ baking dish.
- To a clean saucepan over medium heat, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk vigorously to combine the butter and flour. Continue whisking until a thick paste forms.
- Gently stream in the milk, whisking vigorously as you do. Once the milk has thickened up a bit, stir in the grated cheese and a pinch of salt. Taste test for salt and add more as needed.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower in the baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs.
- Bake the cauliflower for approximately 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
Recipe adapted from bbcgoodfood.com