Cauliflower Au Gratin is a yummy side dish you’ll love! Featuring fresh cauliflower florets baked in a creamy cheese sauce, it’s delicious!
One of the “hobbies” I truly enjoy is looking through old cookbooks or cooking magazines for inspiration. I LOVE the thrill of the hunt for great recipes! The recipe I’m sharing today for cauliflower au gratin came from a cookbook I’ve had for years and years. This cookbook highlights traditional foods popular in different regions of the United States.
Cauliflower Au Gratin (which means “cauliflower and cheese”) is one of the recipes from this cookbook. It’s a wonderful tasting recipe for tender cauliflower baked in a super creamy (and simple to prepare) cheddar cheese sauce. The entire recipe itself is really quite easy to make. I slightly changed the original recipe from the cookbook just a smidge, and truly think you’re gonna love it! Here’s how to make hot, creamy, cheesy and delicious cauliflower au gratin:
Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page
Prepare The Cauliflower Florets
The first thing you will need to do is prepare the cauliflower florets. You can remove the florets from the cauliflower any way you prefer. This is how I like to get them. Remove a large head of cauliflower from the bag, and remove the leaves and stems from the bottom. Once the leaves and stalk stems have been pulled or cut off, take a knife and carefully cut the core out from the middle underside of the cauliflower.
Once the core has been removed, remove the florets by cutting them out with a knife. Try to cut the florets into bite-sized pieces. You may have to slice them in half or thirds to do so, because some of those florets can be ginormous!
Cook The Cauliflower Florets Until Tender But Firm
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil on medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower florets to the pan, making sure they are covered with water. Cook the cauliflower for 7-8 minutes, or until just barely tender, but firm. Drain well, and set the cauliflower aside.
Make The Cheese Sauce
I like to make the cheese sauce while the cauliflower is cooking, to save time. Making the thick and creamy cheese sauce is very easy. Begin by melting the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour until fully combined. Cook the flour mixture on low heat, continuing to whisk, until it begins bubbling. This mixture will act as the thickening for the creamy cheese sauce, so make sure all lumps of flour are gone.
Slowly pour the milk into the thickened flour mixture, stirring or whisking the milk in as you pour. Once all the milk has been added and whisked in, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly as it cooks. Continue cooking and stirring until this sauce has thickened (just a couple minutes at most). Remove the pan from the heat once the sauce has thickened.
Immediately stir in grated sharp cheddar cheese. Continue to stir (off the heat) until all the cheese has melted and been blended in. Once fully combined, grab a spoon and give the sauce a quick taste. Season with salt and pepper, a little at a time, until it suits your personal taste preference.
Almost Ready To Bake!
Grease or spray a 2 quart baking dish. Place the cauliflower florets evenly in the dish. Pour the thickened cheese sauce over the cauliflower, covering all the florets with sauce. Lightly sprinkle the sauce with dried bread crumbs. Now the cauliflower au gratin is ready to bake!
Bake cauliflower au gratin at 350°F. on the middle oven rack for about 23-25 minutes, until the top is very lightly browned. The sauce should be bubbling around the edges of the dish once done. Remove the cauliflower au gratin from the oven and serve immediately.
Time To Enjoy Delicious Cauliflower Au Gratin
Be sure to serve this dish immediately while everything is nice and hot. I hope you find that the tender, baked cauliflower florets and creamy cheese sauce make a great tasting combination! This recipe will make about 6 servings. Any leftovers (cooled to room temp.) can be stored for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, if covered well. You can easily reheat them in a microwave, if desired
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I appreciate your time, and sincerely hope you will have the opportunity to make this delicious cauliflower side dish for those you love. Have a great day, and please come back soon for another visit.
Looking For More VEGETABLE Recipes?
You can find all of my veggie recipes in the Recipe Index, which is located at the top of the page. I have many recipes using a variety of vegetables I think you’ll enjoy, including:
- P.F. Chang’s Spicy Green Beans (copycat)
- Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Loaded Grilled Cauliflower
- Easy Creamed Spinach
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Recipe adapted from: The cookbook “Best of America – Traditional Regional Recipes”, page 238, published 1994 by Anness Publishing, Ltd.
Cauliflower Au Gratin is a yummy side dish you'll love! Featuring fresh cauliflower florets baked in a creamy cheese sauce, it's delicious!
- 2½ pound cauliflower head , cut into bite-sized florets
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon dried bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or spray) a 2 quart baking dish. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil on medium-high heat. Add cauliflower florets to pan, making sure they're covered with water. Cook 7-8 minutes, or until just barely tender, but firm. Drain well; place cauliflower evenly in prepared baking dish; set aside.
Make cheese sauce while cauliflower is cooking, to save time. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Whisk in flour until combined. Cook flour mixture on low heat, continuing to whisk to remove lumps, until it begins bubbling. Slowly pour milk into thickened flour mixture, stirring or whisking sauce as you pour. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens (1-2 minutes). Remove pan from heat. Immediately stir in cheese. Continue to stir (off heat) until cheese has melted. Give sauce a quick taste, then season with salt and pepper (a little at a time), until it suits your personal preference. Pour cheese sauce over the cauliflower, covering all florets with sauce. Lightly sprinkle sauce with dried bread crumbs.
Bake at 350°F. (on middle rack) for approx. 23-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Sauce should be bubbling around edges of dish once done. Remove cauliflower au gratin from oven; serve immediately. Enjoy! Store leftovers, covered in fridge for up to 3-4 days (microwave to reheat).
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!