This deliciously creamy cauliflower au gratin recipe is a delicious change up from the traditional potatoes au gratin.
Our cheesy cauliflower au gratin is a delicious and comforting dish perfect for any occasion. Made with tender cauliflower florets baked in a rich and creamy sauce, this dish is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Cauliflower mixed with a tasty blend of fontina and parmesan cheese and cream roasted to perfection.
The best part is this dish is easy and quick. Making it perfect to pair with your favorite main course recipes.
What is Cauliflower au Gratin?
Most of us have heard of potatoes au gratin, but what does that actually mean?
Au gratin, or gratin for short, really just means topped with cheese or bread crumbs and baked.
It gives your dish a beautiful golden brown top, which is not only inviting but adds both a delicious flavor and texture.
In this recipe, we are making a yummy, creamy cauliflower gratin with a cheese sauce and crispy cheese topping that will tempt even the pickiest of eaters to enjoy.
The stars of this show are cauliflower and a creamy sauce made from butter and cheese.
Cauliflower: Fresh cauliflower tastes best in this recipe, broken up into bite sized florets. Look for cauliflower heads that don't have any dark spots on them. If you're short on time, you can grab some pre-cut cauliflower in a bag from the grocery store.
Fontina cheese: Great for adding lots of flavor and leaving a rich creamy texture your au gratin. You can substitute gouda or provolone if you can't find fontina cheese easily.
Parmesan cheese: Adds a bold, rich tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce. You could also substitute it with asiago or grated mozzarella if you don't have it on hand.
We also used:
- Olive oil
- All purpose flower
- Heavy cream
- Fresh parsley
- Salt & pepper
First, we'll start by cooking the cauliflower. Bring a large cooking pot to boil then par-boil the cauliflower florets for 3 minutes.
You don't want to over cook the cauliflower, as it'll continue to cook during baking.
Drain the cauliflower and return the florets back to the warm pot.
The heat from the pot will continue to dry some of the excess moisture from the cauliflower.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter creating a creamy bechamel sauce. Stir for 2 - 3 minutes to lightly cook the flour.
Slowly pour in your milk and heavy cream while wishing the mixture making sure it all combines well and cook for 2-3 minutes until it's nice and thick.
Turn off the heat and add in the fontina cheese and stir until it's fully melted together. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper to taste.
Pat dry the cauliflower florets and layer them in an even layer in a lightly greased casserole dish.
Pour the bechamel over the cauliflower and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Bake until your au gratin is brown on top and the cheese is bubbly.
Remove from the oven and top with freshly chopped parsley.
Enjoy! Your creamy, cheesy cauliflower au gratin will become one of your favorite side dishes for dinner.
After cooking your cauliflower, make sure to remove as much moisture as possible. Otherwise you're au gratin will become soggy and too wet.
If you're worried about moisture, you can roast your cauliflower in the over at 400°F for 15 minutes.
When making your cream sauce, make sure to remove the sauce from heat before adding in the cheese, or it may seperate from the high heat.
Feel free to add additional veggies to your cauliflower gratin. You can substitute half the cauliflower with broccoli or other stiff vegetables for a dish loaded with nourishing veggies.
If you want an extra crispy topping, you can also sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs on top for additional crunch.
If you don't have the other cheeses on hand, you could substitute them for cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese. While the flavors are a bit different, it'll still come out delicious.
You can store any leftover cauliflower gratin in a sealed container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
This Cauliflower au gratin recipe gives you deliciously tender cauliflower in a yummy, savory cream sauce and topped with bubbly gooey cheese. Serve as a main course or a side dish the whole family will love.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into bitesized florets
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1-½ cup fontina cheese, shredded
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- ½ cup fresh Italian leaf parsley, chopped
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a large casserole dish with cooking oil.
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook cauliflower for 3 minutes, then drain. Return cooked cauliflower to the warm pot to let the heat cook excess moisture.
- Gently pat dry to remove any excess water.
- In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle flour over the melted butter and stir for 2 - 3 minutes.
- Slowly pour in milk and cream while whisking mixture to fully combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn off the heat and add in fontina cheese while stirring constantly until fully melted.
- Layer cooked cauliflower in an even layer in casserole or baking dish.
- Pour bechamel sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake until the au gratin is brown on top and the cheese is bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and top with freshly chopped parsley.
- Serve and enjoy!
When making your bechamel sauce, add your cheese after removing it from the heat. If the cheese gets too hot it can make your sauce separate, which is much less appetizing.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 516mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g