Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower cheese is a classic comfort food that combines the subtle nuttiness of cauliflower with the rich creaminess of cheese. This dish is not only flavorful but also incredibly versatile, making it a popular choice for family dinners, potlucks, or cozy nights in. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking for a hearty main course or a side dish enthusiast searching for a tasty addition to your meal, this cauliflower cheese recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


  • 1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional, for a crunchy topping)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Prepare the Cauliflower: Start by washing and cutting the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Steam or boil the cauliflower until it’s just tender, but still has a slight crunch. Drain and set aside.
  2. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously to create a smooth roux. Cook the roux for a couple of minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  3. Add the Milk and Cheese: Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheddar and Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is velvety.
  4. Season the Sauce: Stir in the Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference. The mustard adds a subtle tanginess that enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
  5. Combine Cauliflower and Cheese Sauce: Gently fold the steamed cauliflower into the cheese sauce, ensuring that each floret is evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  6. Optional Crunchy Topping: For an added layer of texture, sprinkle breadcrumbs over the cauliflower and cheese mixture. This step is optional but adds a delightful crunch to the dish.
  7. Bake to Perfection: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the cauliflower cheese in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  8. Garnish and Serve: Once out of the oven, garnish the cauliflower cheese with freshly chopped parsley for a burst of color and freshness. Allow it to cool slightly before serving.

Variations and Additions:

  1. Bacon Lovers Twist: For those who enjoy a smoky flavor, consider adding crispy bacon bits to the cauliflower cheese before baking. The salty and savory notes from the bacon complement the creamy cheese sauce beautifully.
  2. Herb Infusion: Elevate the dish by infusing the cheese sauce with herbs like thyme, rosemary, or chives. Add these herbs to the sauce while it’s thickening for an extra layer of aromatic goodness.
  3. Spicy Kick: If you crave some heat, spice things up by incorporating a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes into the cheese sauce. The subtle heat will add a delightful contrast to the richness of the dish.
  4. Gratin Style: Opt for a gratin-style cauliflower cheese by topping the dish with additional grated cheese and baking until it forms a golden, cheesy crust. This adds a delightful cheesy crunch to every bite.

Serve with:

  1. Crusty Bread: A loaf of crusty bread or dinner rolls is the perfect companion to soak up the luscious cheese sauce. The combination of the soft bread and creamy cauliflower is simply irresistible.
  2. Green Salad: Balance the richness of the cauliflower cheese with a fresh green salad on the side. A simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette provides a refreshing contrast.
  3. Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts make an excellent accompaniment, adding additional textures and flavors to your meal.

Storage and Reheating:

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating, use the oven or toaster oven to help maintain the dish’s texture. Microwaving may cause the cheese sauce to become overly liquid.

Cauliflower cheese, with its creamy texture and cheesy goodness, is a dish that can be customized to suit various tastes. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different additions, this versatile dish is a winner that brings comfort and satisfaction to any table. Embrace the variations and pairings to create your own signature cauliflower cheese experience.

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