we are in the final weeks of winter, friends. Im slightly dreading the hotter months of Texas. but, I am really excited to leave behind the slightest chance of freezing weather. it is in that spirit that I am so excited to share my last 2021 winter recipe with you guys! this cheesy roasted cauliflower gratin is the perfect side dish (or main dish) to round out those cozy, cold weather meals.
what I love about this dish
my kids will eat their veggies when I make this! but, seriously, I love that this dish is
- cheesy (so much cheese)
- full of flavor
- hint of spicy heat
- a great way to sneak in those veggies
- kid approved (by both my veggie and non veggie loving kids)
- easy to take from side to main
- quick to make
- especially if you buy pre cut florets
- easily adapted using what you have in your fridge and pantry
let’s get that grocery list together
this cheesy roasted cauliflower gratin uses basics and is easily adapted. but, add these things to your need grocery list
- olive oil
- all purpose flour
- whole milk
- cheese (any melty cheese will work!)
- bread crumbs
- check out this article for turning old bread into delicious bread crumbs!
- paprika or Aleppo pepper
that’s it! told you it was a short list!
do I need any special tools?
you don’t need anything too special to make this cheesy roasted cauliflower gratin, but these do help:
- box grater
- to grate the cheese
- sheet pan
- to roast the cauliflower
- medium sauce pan
- to make the cheese sauce
- 9X13 baking dish
tips for the perfect veggie gratin
- use whatever veggies you have on hand!
- make sure they are cut to roughly the same size
- try to get veggies that are the same texture and thickness
- roast the veggies at 425 F for 20-30 minutes
- look for a little char from the roasting
- toss in about 1 tbsp olive oil and add whatever seasoning you like!
- cool to touch before transferring into the baking dish
- use cheese that is still in block form
- yes, its worth it to shred your own for this dish
- use a box grater to make this happen in a snap
- use cheese that you like!
- just makes sure that it melts easily
- sub the bread crumbs for something else that is crunchy (if trying to keep even lower in carbs)
- keto bread dried out and processed into crumbs
- any nuts processed into bread like crumbs
- or omit and enjoy the cheesy cauliflower without
- this keeps really well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4-5 days
other easy sides
cheesy roasted cauliflower gratin
- sheet pan (for roasting)
- box grater
- medium sauce pan
- 9X13 baking pan
- 1-2 large heads cauliflower, cleaned and cut to florets (about 1.5-2 lbs)
- 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, divided (plus more for buttering dish)
- 1/4 c (50g) all purpose flour sub with GF or grain-free flour if needed
- 2 2/3 c (630ml) whole milk
- 16oz. 5-6 c mix of cheese of choice, shredded (sharp cheddar, gouda, gryere are all food choices)
- 3/4 c bread crumbs (homemade or store bought) use GF or grain free alternative bread cumb topping if needed
- 1 tsp paprika or Aleppo pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter prepared cauliflower florets on the parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt over the florets. Gently toss to evenly coat all the pieces. Roast the cauliflower for about 20 minutes or until the florets are starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F.
- Grease a 9X13 baking dish with butter. Place the cooled pieces of cauliflower in an even layer along the bottom. Set aside.
- Prepare the cheese sauce: In medium sauce pan, melt 4 tbsp butter. Once the butter has fully melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly to prevent burning. Whisk until the butter/flour turns a golden brown paste.
- Stir in milk about 3/4 c at a time. Whisk well with each addition. Bring the milk to a simmer. Lower heat or low or remove from the heat altogether.
- Add about 3/4 (about 4-5 c) of the total amount of cheese to the milk, about 1/4 c at a time. Whisk well between each addition to ensure the cheese melts evenly in the liquid mixture. Reserve the remaining 1c cheese for the bread crumbs.
- Pour the cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower and prepare the bread crumbs: Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Mix the bread crumbs with the paprika in a small mixing bowl. Stir butter into the bread crumbs making sure to evenly coat all the bread crumbs. Toss in the remaining 1 c cheese with the bread crumbs. Top the cheesy cauliflower florets with the bread crumbs and cheese.
- Bake the cauliflower gratin at 375 F for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!