Cauliflower Au Gratin

Cauliflower Au Gratin

Ready in 45 minutes

Something wonderful happens to cauliflower when combined with bechamel and lots of cheese...I can't fully describe how velvety smooth and creamy this is. The cheese sauce is absolute heaven, the perfect complement to cauliflower. The topping adds lots of flavor and a little crunch. A definite comfort food!

"Great recipe. Love the panko crust & am thinking that I can use it on just about anything. My excitement could be my lack of cooking prowess, but I loved the topping. Bechamel sauce also a great recipe to have. All in all a great side dish and some basics for greating cooking going forward! Caulifower isn't a hit overall with my set, so I won't make this again, but will use it over & over with other veggies!"

- TravelJewels

Top-ranked recipe named "Cauliflower Au Gratin"

4.7 avg, 37 review(s) 89% would make again


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-- Bechamel --
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Unsalted butter
1/4 cup Unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups milk or half-and-half,; scalded
1/4 teaspoon salt; (for scalded milk)
1 small bay leaf,; broken in two
Salt and fresh ground white pepper
1 pinch nutmeg,; freshly ground
-- Gratin --
2 tablespoons salt; (for pre-cooking cauliflower)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar; (for pre-cooking cauliflower)
1 head cauliflower; (about 11/2 pounds)
2 cups bechamel sauce
1 cup Swiss Gruyere cheese,; (about 3 oz) finely grated
Salt and fresh ground white pepper
-- Basil Crumb Topping --
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, or addition Gruyere,; (about 1 oz) finely grated
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or dried bread crumb
1 tablespoon fresh basil or flat-leaf (Italian) parsley,; chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

Original recipe makes 6



To make Bechamel: In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. When butter starts to foam, add flour and mix using a wooden spoon to create a smooth, loose paste. Cook, stirring constantly, allowing butter and flour to froth together until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand.

Meanwhile, combine milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan, scald milk (heating it until just below boiling point). Return saucepan with roux to medium-low heat. Add half of the hot milk to the roux, whisking vigorously to thoroughly blend and prevent lumps, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When a boil is reached and sauce is smooth, add the remaining milk and bay leaf, reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is smooth and thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste, and set aside until ready to use. (Makes about 2 cups.)

To make Gratin: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring 3 quarts of water to a rapid boil with 2 tablespoons of salt and vinegar. (The acid in vinegar helps keep cauliflower white.) Cut cauliflower into 1 1/2-inch wide florets. Boil florets until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes, drain well without rinsing, pat dry, and season with salt to taste.

Arrange the cauliflower, florets-side up, in a buttered, medium (about 8-cup) oval gratin dish or baking dish just large enough to hold cauliflour in a single layer. If the bechamel sauce is cold, bring it to a simmer on the stove while whisking. Gradually stir Gruyere cheese into the hot bechamel and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, bread crumbs and basil, and mix with olive oil, to coat evenly. Spoon bechamel over the cauliflower and sprinkle everything, evenly, with crumb topping.

Bake in center of oven until gratin is bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, or at room temperature.


Added on Award Medal

photo by 2sexy2cook 2sexy2cook

photo by 2sexy2cook 2sexy2cook

photo by sgrishka sgrishka

photo by sgrishka sgrishka

Calories Per Serving: 314 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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Reviews for Cauliflower Au Gratin All 37 reviews

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Making the sauce was a lot of work but the basil topping is awesome. Made it for a family meal and it was gone very quickly; needed to make double!
jessicatannee 3 months ago
TimKoster 5 months ago
Tasty and the recipe is easy to follow. I added a bit of spinach, on the theory that nothing with cheese in it will ever be harmed by adding a bit of spinach. I also used whole wheat flour in the bechamel (wasn't sure that would work, but it did) and added wheat germ to the panko topping. In the future I might add a little mustard seed, garlic powder, or paprika for more punch. Nice thing about it as is though is you can actually taste the cauliflower. :) Got some tasty fresh cauliflower from the CSA so I didn't want to totally drown it out with sharp cheeses and spices. Don't fear the bechamel - it seems involved at first but once you get used to it, it's a piece of cake!
oakandsage 6 months ago
This was really good! Hubby asked me to add it to our rotation. Will add a bit more Gruyere next time as per our tastes...
ZenaUBugn 8 months ago
The Bechamel is the best I've had and the Basil Crumb Topping finished off a delicious side dish. Have made this a few times now and besides adding different veggies would not change a thing.
Heatherferg 11 month ago
LChickie 1 year ago
This was incredible. It wasn't an easy recipe, as at one point I had 3 pots cooking on the stove just for this side dish. The gruyere cheese is not inexpensive either. I might try to substitute a less expensive domestic cheese next time.
LChickie 1 year ago
Recipe was very helpful but sauce was bland. Making these changes would make this recipe a 5 star. Healthier makeover.....I used better spread and whole wheat flour. First time I used the Gruyere and it was great but the next time I used a lowfat mexican shredded cheese and it was also great so the recipe works with both. I seasoned the sauce with 1Tbsp onion powder and 1 Tbsp of cajun seasoning. I also added corn which was a great combo. Served with BBQ crockpot chicken and a sweet potato DEEELISH!!!
NutriNik 1 year ago
Very tasty, going to try with broccoli next time as I'm sure that would be yummy too!
Tracybrandy 1 year ago
couchnaps 1 year ago
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