September 29, 2015

White cheddar cauliflower gratin

Baking dish of white cheddar cauliflower gratin.

A creamy white cheddar sauce makes this cauliflower gratin an irresistible side dish. It's baked with some breadcrumbs until golden and bubbly and is perfect for serving along with chicken, pork, steak, and more.

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Cauliflower and cheese are a classic side dish combination and soup combination. Cheese makes this cauliflower gratin so inviting and flavorful. 

When I make a cheddar cheese sauce for vegetables or macaroni, I like to use a quality sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese. This provides the most flavor to the sauce. 

You also want to buy it in a brick and grate it yourself. This will keep the sauce creamy and help prevent it from breaking as pre-shredded cheese has cellulose on it which doesn't allow the cheese to melt as smoothly. 

In this dish I use white cheddar, but orange cheddar works fine as well. You can use whatever one you prefer, but again, aim for a sharp or extra sharp cheese.

Serving spoon scooping white cheddar cauliflower gratin.

Cauliflower is a favorite vegetable of mine to have in the fall and winter. When you pick out a cauliflower, pick one that is bright white in color without any dark spots. It should be firm and have nice, tight florets. 

For these photos, I actually used an orange cauliflower as we sometimes find them at the farmers' market and at one of our local grocery stores in the fall. 

You can also sometimes find purple cauliflower, though that would not be my first choice for putting in a gratin and I personally think the color after cooking wouldn't be appealing. I like to simply roasted the purple one with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Finished white cheddar cauliflower gratin in a serving dish.

I like to serve this cauliflower along with something like a baked breaded chicken, a pork loin or chops, or even with a grilled steak. Add something green like a side salad or some steamed green beans and you have a lovely dinner. 

Plus, as I always say, one of the best ways to encourage your family and kids to eat more vegetables is to make them delicious!

Yield: 4-6 servings
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

A creamy white cheddar sauce makes this cauliflower gratin an irresistible side dish. It's baked with some breadcrumbs until golden and bubbly and is perfect for serving along with chicken, pork, steak, and more.


  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 2 lbs.), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated sharp (or extra sharp) white cheddar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes


  1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium/low heat. Stir in the shallot, garlic, and good pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot turns translucent. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for one minute. Whisk in the milk and nutmeg.
  3. Let the milk heat and just begin to lightly bubble and then add the cauliflower. Keep the heat low and stir often, cooking until the milk thickens and the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in one and a half cups of the white cheddar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and lightly butter a medium baking dish. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the baking dish.
  6. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup white cheddar, breadcrumbs, and parsley.
  7. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, just until it is bubbly and golden on the top. Let sit for a few minutes and then serve.
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I hope you give this white cheddar cauliflower gratin a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Top of baked white cheddar cauliflower gratin.

This recipe was originally posted in 2015 and has been updated in 2022 with a recipe card, new text, and more to improve reader experience.

Check out these other vegetable side dish recipes:

Balsamic Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts w/ Grapes & Chestnuts

Roasted Balsamic Radishes

Roasted Smoked Paprika Delicata Squash Sticks

Yellow Summer Squash Casserole

Kohlrabi & Radish Slaw


  1. What a lovely dish! This cheddar cauliflower tart looks so YUM!

  2. Nice dish, a vegetable I am trying to enjoy more (then back in childhood lol), cheddar makes it a winner.

  3. I am always a fan of cauliflowers and the add of cheddar makes it even more tempting.

  4. Amy, cooking cauliflower in a gratin always seems to bring out its special flavor and its delicate sweetness - nice recipe and wonderful presentation!

  5. Hi Amy, I love gratins, especially ones like this. Cheddar cheese is my favorite.

  6. I have made something similar, but without the bread crumbs. Now I want to go back and make it with them - looks delicious :)

  7. This sounds delicious and I'm a big fan of cauliflower!

  8. I love rich gratins! And I love cauliflower. This looks so decadent!


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