Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

by Aimee Stock

This Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin was inspired by one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Ina Garten. The recipe is incredibly easy and is yet another way to enjoy cauliflower!

Bite shot of Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

How to make Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

The first thing you’ll need to do is melt butter in a saute pan.

Melting butter

Add a bit of flour to the melted butter and stir, stir, stir.

Add flour to make a roux

It should look like this. We are basically just cooking out the flour taste and making a simple roux.

Cook flour mixture for 2 minutes

To the flour mixture, slowly add hot milk, whisking constantly. It will incorporate, I promise 🙂

If you were making a classic roux or using Ina’s recipe, you might add grated nutmeg. I’m just not a fan personally.

Adding milk to flour mixture to create a sauce

Once it’s smooth and bubbling, it’s time to add the cheese.

Bring milk mixture to a boil

What cheese works best in this recipe?

Ina used grated Gruyere and parmesan. I say use whatever you like! I do enjoy using one shredded melting cheese and the grated parm, but the options really are endless. The rules are…there are no rules.

I had some miscellaneous cheeses and ended up using parmesan, mozzarella and Monterey Jack. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper at this point as well.

Add cheeses salt and pepper

Could I use broccoli for this recipe?

Absolutely! In fact, a mixture of both cauliflower and broccoli would be nice too.

I steam the cauliflower florets until almost fork tender (don’t over cook). It will continue to cook in the oven.

Steaming the cauliflower for my Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

Add a layer of your cheesy mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Add a layer of cheese sauce to the bottom of the pan

Next, add the steamed cauliflower.

Add steamed cauliflower

Top with the remaining cheese sauce.

Add cheese sauce to top of Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

You could use prepared breadcrumbs here, but I like a coarser texture. I took two pieces of regular white bread and pulsed them in a food processor.

Toss in the reserved cheeses.

Bread crumbs and melted butter

Add melted butter, fluff with a fork and top your gratin.

Drizzle melted butter over bread crumbs

Bake at 375 degrees until golden and bubbly. Be sure to let this gratin rest for at least 5 minutes before you enjoy. Not only does it allow it to cool slightly, but it also thickens up as it sits.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

Did you make this Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought!

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Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casserole, comfort food
Servings: 4 servings


  • 9 x 13 baking dish


  • 1 head Cauliflower cut into florets


  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 4 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 2 c Milk bring to a simmer so it's HOT before adding
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 c Shredded Cheese like Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Swiss, etc.
  • 1/4 c Grated Parmesan


  • 1/4 c Bread Crumbs prepared or homemade
  • 2 tbsp Butter melted
  • 1/4 c Shredded Cheese
  • 1/4 c Grated Parmesan



  • Trim the head of cauliflower, removing the leaves and stem and cutting into bite sized florets.
    Steaming the cauliflower
  • Place the cauliflower in a steamer over simmering water and cook until just barely fork tender.
  • Drain away any excess water and set aside to cool.


  • Melt butter in a large pan with all purpose flour, stirring constantly to cook out the raw flour taste.
    Melting butter
  • In a saucepan, heat milk. If you add cold milk to the flour, you will have lumps. Whisk the hot milk constantly as you add it into the flour mixture and it will incorporate in just a few minutes. Bring to a boil.
    Adding milk to flour mixture to create a sauce
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and add salt, pepper and optional nutmeg along with the two cheeses. Whisk until melted.
    Add cheeses salt and pepper
  • Add about 1/3 of the cheese sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Next, add all of the steamed cauliflower in an even layer.
    Add steamed cauliflower
  • Add the remaining cheese sauce over top.


  • In a food processor, add two slices of bread (any kind) and pulse into breadcrumbs. Alternately, you could use prepared panko breadcrumbs.
    Bread crumbs and melted butter
  • Melt the butter (I use the microwave).
    Drizzle melted butter over bread crumbs
  • Toss with the cheeses and sprinkle over the cheese sauce.


  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving, as it will continue to thicken up.
    Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin


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