White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin


This White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin takes plain and boring cauliflower to a new level of amazing deliciousness! It will be one of the first things to go this Thanksgiving, trust me!

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

Here cauliflower is covered with a rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce, sprinkled with crispy Panko bread crumbs, then it’s baked to perfection and crowned with salty crispy bacon and some fresh parsley for color.

It’s a whole lot of goodness and it’s a dish people won’t forget!


White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

This isn’t just for holidays and parties. It’s easily something you can make as a side dish for dinner.

It’s such a warm and cozy dish for cool fall days and cold winter evenings.

I just served it with roasted chicken, because 90% of the time that’s what we’re having anyway is chicken for dinner.

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

To me it’s similar to scalloped potatoes or even mac and cheese – but it’s made with cauliflower instead.

Cauliflower is a great base for this recipe, it has such a neutral flavor so so it really lets that cheddar flavor shine.

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

I highly recommend trying this recipe for the holidays.

It’s likely something most people haven’t tried and it’s always nice to have something new on the menu.

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

So, like I’ve said before make it for dinner this week to do your trial run then make it again on Thanksgiving.

Always my excuse to make something that looks good twice :). That pie – I just HAD to make it once before to be certain it would taste amazing and be worthy of the holiday.


White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

4.5 from 2 votes

Cauliflower is coated with a rich, creamy, cheesy sauce, covered with Panko and baked to perfection. And let's not forget the bacon! The perfect comforting side dish on chilly evenings, also the perfect addition to your holiday menu.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 (3 lb) cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped and cooked
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook florets until tender but still firm, about 5 - 6 minutes. Drain well.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add in onions and saute until softened, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add in garlic and saute 20 seconds longer. Add in flour and cook whisking constantly, 1 1/2 minutes.

  4.  While whisking slowly pour in milk and add nutmeg. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches a boil, then remove from heat and stir in 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Pour and spread 1/3 of the cheese sauce into a 9 by 9-inch baking dish. Top with drained cauliflower then slowly and evenly pour remaining 2/3 of the cheese sauce over cauliflower. 

  6. Sprinkle over remaining 1/4 cup white cheddar then sprinkle evenly with Panko. Spray Panko with olive oil cooking spray to lightly coat.

  7. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, then broil for 1 - 2 minutes to help brown further as needed. Remove from oven, sprinkle with bacon and parsley and serve warm.

  8. Recipe source: inspired by Ina Garten's recipe

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  • Lori: I found roasting the cauliflower instead of boiling avoided the dish being runny as mentioned above, also, roasting gives it another layer of flavor.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    Peace. November 21, 2017 at 7:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the tip! Glad you liked it! November 21, 2017 at 11:21am Reply

  • Kellie: could i make ahead and reheat before serving? November 18, 2017 at 7:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like it best served once freshly baked when the Panko is the crispiest. Also after the first day I think the cauliflower can start to break down a little and make the sauce a little runnier. November 18, 2017 at 9:51pm Reply

  • Amber: Followed directions to a T but mine came out super watery. Any suggestions on how to make it less watery?? November 18, 2017 at 7:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: More butter and flour (up the roux) and add more cheese. Sorry it wasn’t as thick as you’d like – but it should be an easy fix. November 18, 2017 at 9:52pm Reply

  • Carmen Carlton: Yum! This has got to be on my turkey day menu! BTW I am assuming the preheated oven temp is the basic 350°? November 14, 2017 at 8:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I just added the temp above. Can’t believe I missed it in editing. I hope you love it Carmen! November 14, 2017 at 9:08pm Reply

  • Michelle @ The Complete Savorist: Pretty much could eat this everyday of my life. Think I might have to make this one asap. Thanks J! November 12, 2017 at 12:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Indeed! Thanks Michelle! November 13, 2017 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Lauren: I’m not a fan of bacon at all ( I know..GASP!) but would be it OK to just not add it to the recipe? November 12, 2017 at 12:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely :). Hope you love it! November 13, 2017 at 9:46pm Reply

  • Doris: Sounds divine! Gotta make this for Thanksgiving. November 12, 2017 at 8:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you do and love it! November 13, 2017 at 12:30pm Reply

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