Cauliflower is all mixed up with a super easy and creamy cheese sauce to make this flavorful side dish perfect for every fall dinner. So simple to make, this cauliflower au gratin is the new healthy and savory dish you’ll love to prepare for your kids. The creaminess of the cheese sauce pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cauliflower. Not to mention that the ingredients are super affordable and the oven does most of the work, anyway.
How to Gratinate Cauliflower like a PRO
Before starting to prepare this creamy side dish, I want to let you know some essential tips and tricks when cooking cauliflower au gratin. You are already used to my way of doing things – research before everything! I should make a life motto out of this!;) I am aware that sometimes you might find boring this section and even skip it, but, please, keep in mind that for me the PRO Tips are often game changers!
- For extra color and flavor, you can always add broccoli to the cauliflower au gratin recipe. Not to mention that you can also replace the cauliflower with its green relative if your kids are bigger fans of broccoli.
- One important thing to consider is to remove the sauce from the heat before stirring in the cheese. Keep in mind that if the cheese overheats or boils it can separate.
- If you don’t have so much cheese on hand, replace the top layer of shredded cheese with buttery breadcrumbs. I sometimes prefer replacing the cheese with this simple trick, as the baked breadcrumbs are a little crispy and even the aspect is more impressive. So, if you prefer doing so, just combine 1/2 cup breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle over top before baking.
- The final trick is for the cooks that have some extra time (I am not one of them, unfortunately). Keep in mind that if you bake cauliflower instead of steaming it, is less probably to have a watery final dish. Nobody desires a watery cauliflower au gratin, so baking it for 15-20 minutes before cooking the cheese sauce is the best option. However, if you still steam, boil, or use frozen cauliflower be sure to drain it very well.
How to Make Cauliflower au Gratin at Home
The creamy cauliflower au gratin is sure to impress every foodie out there, as the cheese sauce paired with the cauliflower flavor and texture is the ultimate combo. It’s almost imperative to give this cheesy side dish a try, as the instructions are so easy to follow and the final result is amazingly tasty!
What You Need to Make Cauliflower au Gratin
Now, comes the fun part: finding out what you should have on hand before preparing this cheesy dish. The simplicity of the ingredient list and the ease of the instructions don’t really explain why the result is so tasty. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you taste them… the tenderness of the cauliflower, the creaminess of the sauce, and the flavors pair just perfectly together.
- 1 head cauliflower (cut into florets);
- 1 small onion (chopped);
- 1 tablespoon butter;
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour;
- 1 cup milk;
- 6 ounces preferred cheese (shredded);
- 1 teaspoon paprika;
- salt and black pepper to taste.
Step-by-Step Recipe for Gratinated Cauliflower
Next, my loves, let’s find out what are the steps of this simple recipe. You don’t have to worry about a thing! Considering you already read the Pro Tips, you gathered all the ingredients, and you are terminated to rock this creamy cauliflower au gratin recipe, this part will be easy peasy lemon squeezy!
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and the cauliflower florets. Cover them and steam until tender (5 to 7 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and grease a medium baking dish.
- Then, heat butter in a small saucepan over low heat and cook the onion in the melted butter until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Next, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture just starts to brown (3 to 5 minutes).
- Gradually pour milk into the mixture, whisking it into a smooth sauce. Cook the sauce until simmering and remove from heat.
- Then, stir in half of the amount of the preferred cheese until melted. Also, sprinkle with pepper, salt, and paprika.
- Place steamed cauliflower in the prepared baking dish and pour cheese sauce over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the cauliflower with the remaining cheese.
- Finally, bake the cauliflower au gratin in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and browned (about 25 minutes).
Easy Video Recipe
Finally, this is the video tutorial for the gratinated cauliflower recipe. Believe me, you’ll be amazed by the simplicity of the steps! As I already said, your oven will do most of the work, while you just prepare the cheese sauce. 10 minutes of work, 40 minutes of cooking and the savory cauliflower au gratin is ready to be served!
Enjoy Your Cheesy Cauliflower!
All in all, there you have it: a deliciously creamy side dish for your dinner gatherings with your loved ones! What do you think about it? Did you find it hard to follow the recipe’s steps? Also, did you go for the main recipe or did you change some things about the cauliflower au gratin dish? Tell me everything in the comment section below.
Furthermore, don’t forget that your input on everything I write about is extremely valuable. It really helps me know what you think about my work and how you would improve my recipes, ideas, and advice. Therefore, keep on asking any questions in the comments section. I will make sure to respond as soon as possible! Furthermore, feel free to share your experience with this cheesy cauliflower au gratin recipe and all your advice on it. I am always super excited to hear from my beloved readers!
Last but not least, one of the benefits I love the most of being a home cook mom is that you can explore many interesting, still healthy recipes that help you give your kids the vitamins they need. Nowadays is hard to convince the little monsters to eat their veggies; that’s why I will give you three extra full of nutrients recipes to surprise them: