This creamy cauliflower au gratin recipe smothers cauliflower in a rich cheese sauce for a decadent side dish that’s perfect for the holidays. It’s a low-carb spin on the much-loved potato gratin but just as creamy and delicious.
Today we’re making some creamy cauliflower au gratin which is a worthy substitute for potato au gratin during Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas dinner. Blanched fresh cauliflower is smothered in a rich and cheesy bechamel sauce made lovingly from scratch and finished with a crunchy breadcrumb topping and a drizzle of melted butter.
Au gratin basically means the casserole is topped with a crusty layer of breadcrumbs and cheese. Despite its fancy name and obvious French origins, it tastes just as comforting and down-to-earth as a regular home-cooked meal.
Even if you are not particularly fond of cauliflower or generally indifferent towards it like me, you will love this! It’s even had meat-eaters ask me when I was gonna make this again. It makes people want to eat their veggies! Why? Because it’s creamy and cheesy. So let’s start cooking!
CREAMY CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN RECIPE TIPS
Do you see that cheese? That sauce is a combination of two types of cheese on top of the bechamel sauce. Think of it as a cauliflower version of mac and cheese.
Simply whip out that casserole dish, blanch some cauliflower florets for five minutes until al dente and work on the sauce for another ten or so. The sauce is what will take up most of your time at the stove. Layer it in the casserole and top with the crusty breadcrumb mixture then bake! I make it sound so easy and it truly is.
The only thing you’ll need to be careful of is not to curdle the milk while making the sauce by not cooking it over high heat. So be patient and it’ll come out nicely. I know it’ll seem like it’s taking forever for that milk to thicken but it will. I promise! So just keep stirring or whisking until it does. And then you will have made a bechamel sauce. Tada!
Then remove it from the heat and add in your cheese, nutmeg and seasonings. The cheeses will thicken it up some more to this yummy, creamy, cheesy sauce full of delicious goodness.
One word of advice is to dry that blanched cauliflower until it’s bone dry. Any excess liquid will make your casserole watery! I’ve made this mistake before so take it from me. Bring out that colander and drain that cauliflower! You can even take that extra step and pat them dry with some paper towels.
And that’s about it. Despite the labor of love needed to make a roux and bechamel sauce from scratch, it’s well worth it in the end. So take the time and enjoy this cauliflower au gratin recipe. Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made and what you paired it with in the comments below!
MORE SIDE DISH RECIPES TO TRY
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Mashed Potato Puffs
- Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- Crispy Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Creamed Corn