• Side Dishes
  • Cauliflower au Gratin

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    This delicious vegetable side dish is perfectly creamy, cheesy and it’s so easy to make! Cauliflower au gratin is a great side dish to make for any occasion, and it’s a great addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday table.

    easy cauliflower au gratin for thanksgiving in an oval dish

    When it comes to vegetable side dishes, a cheesy and creamy baked cauliflower au gratin is always a popular choice. Perfect to serve with roast turkey, pork, or veggie dishes and it’s great if you are serving a crowd and it tastes amazing.

    Easy to prep with a few simple ingredients, this indulgent side is wonderfully rich and finished with a crunchy breadcrumb topping.

    For more cauliflower recipes, be sure to check out my Roasted Garlic Cauliflower and Loaded Cauliflower Bake.

    Why you will love this cauliflower au gratin recipe!

    • Quick: This dish only takes about 10 minutes to prep before it’s baked in the oven until it’s golden brown.
    • Make ahead: If you are planning to serve this for the holidays, it’s a great option as it can be made ahead and warmed through to serve.
    • Perfect for a crowd: This low-carb recipe makes enough for 8 hearty servings.

    Ingredients for cauliflower gratin

    • Cauliflower: Use one head of a cauliflower that is cut into florets.
    • Seasonings: Garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg.
    • Butter: I used unsalted butter for this recipe. If you use salted, decrease the amount of added salt.
    • Arrowroot starch: To thicken the cheese sauce.
    • Milk: I used dairy milk, but a plant based milk like almond or soy would work well too.
    • Cheese: I used Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. Swiss cheese or cheddar work well too.
    • Breadcrumbs: For the crunchy topping.
    • Bacon (optional): Cooked bacon pieces add a great smoky flavor and crispy texture.

    How to make cauliflower au gratin

    • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
    • Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Carefully, add cauliflower florets and boil them until just tender but still firm for about 5 minutes. Drain well using a colander and place in a 2 quart casserole dish.
    • In a medium sized saucepan add the butter and melt over medium low heat. Stir in the arrowroot starch and cook about a minute until it thickens. Slowly whisk in the milk and add in cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened. Pour the mixture evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle cooked bacon on top of the cauliflower.
    • Top with parmesan cheese. Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown at the top.
    process images of making cauliflower au gratin
    close up image of cauliflower gratin bite

    Can you make it ahead of time?

    This is a great make-ahead dish, and there are a couple of options to get ahead of things.

    Make the whole dish right up to adding the toppings, then cover and refrigerate it for up to a day. Then add the toppings and bake when you are ready.

    You can bake the whole dish and let it cool before covering and refrigerating. It will keep well for 3 to 4 days. Reheat it, covered with foil, at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until warmed through.

    Can you freeze it?

    This roasted cauliflower gratin recipe is not freezer-friendly. When you defrost it, the cauliflower will become soft and mushy and the sauce can separate, so do avoid it! Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

    creamy baked cauliflower au gratin

    What do you serve it with?

    This creamy cauliflower au gratin recipe is perfect to serve with roasted meats, seafood, and lots of other main dishes. try it with:

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Don’t over boil the cauliflower. It should still be firm and not falling apart. If you overcook it at this stage, your gratin can end up quite watery.
    • Make this recipe for cauliflower au gratin gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs for the topping.
    • Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
    • Drain the cauliflower well before adding it to the baking dish. I like to let it steam for 5 minutes to get rid of excess moisture.
    baked cauliflower florets with parmesan topping

    More Vegetable Side Dishes

    Cauliflower au Gratin

    This delicious vegetable side dish is perfectly creamy, cheesy and it's so easy to make! Cauliflower au gratin is a great side dish to make for any occasion, and it's a great addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday table.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Servings 8 servings
    Calories 371kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    Topping:

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
    • Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Carefully, add cauliflower florets and boil them until just tender but still firm for about 5 minutes. Drain well using a colander and place the florets in a 2 quart casserole dish.
    • In a medium sized saucepan add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the arrowroot starch and cook about a minute until it thickens. Slowly whisk in the milk and add in cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened. Pour evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle cooked bacon on top of the cauliflower (optional).
    • Top with parmesan cheese. Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown at the top.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Don’t over boil the cauliflower. It should still be firm and not falling apart. If you overcook it at this stage, your gratin can end up quite watery.
    • Make it gluten-free by using GF breadcrumbs for the topping.
    • Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
    • Drain the cauliflower well before adding it to the baking dish. I like to let it steam for 5 minutes to get rid of excess moisture.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 567IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course Side Dish
    Cuisine American
    Keyword cauliflower bake, cauliflower side dish, cauliflower with cream and cheese
    Did you make this recipe?

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