Cauliflower Au Gratin is a yummy side dish you’ll love! Featuring fresh cauliflower florets baked in a creamy cheese sauce, it’s delicious!
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!

A head of cauliflower is removed from package and leaves and stems are removed.The core of the cauliflower is cut out, so the florets can be obtained.Florets from a cauliflower head are cut, and ready to cook for cauliflower au gratin.

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.

Cauliflower florets are cooked in boiling, salted water until just barely tender.

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.

Flour is whisked into melted butter, to begin making a cheese sauce.Butter and flour are combined and cooked in pan until bubbly.

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.

Milk is slowly added to the bubbly flour mixture, and whisked until fully combined.After sauce has thickened, sharp cheddar cheese is added, and stirred in, until fully incorporated.

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.

Thick creamy cheese sauce is poured over cauliflower florets in baking dish.The cauliflower au gratin is sprinkled with bread crumbs before baking.

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

Once done baking and bubbling hot, the cauliflower au gratin is ready to serve.A fork with a bite of cauliflower au gratin, ready to eat!

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.

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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
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Cauliflower Au Gratin is a yummy side dish you'll love! Featuring fresh cauliflower florets baked in a creamy cheese sauce, it's delicious!

Category: Side Dish, Vegetable Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower au gratin
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 208 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or spray) a 2 quart baking dish. Set aside.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Au Gratin
Amount Per Serving (1 (1/6 of total))
Calories 208 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 241mg10%
Potassium 706mg20%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 471IU9%
Vitamin C 91mg110%
Calcium 247mg25%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Cauliflower Au Gratin is a yummy side dish you'll love! Featuring fresh cauliflower florets baked in a creamy cheese sauce, it's delicious!

Cauliflower Au Gratin

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