White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

Published November 11, 2017. Updated October 24, 2019

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White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin takes plain and boring cauliflower to a new level of amazing deliciousness! It’s rich and creamy and has an irresistible cheesy flavor. It will be one of the first things to go this Thanksgiving, trust me!

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

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!

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

Ingredients Needed for This Cauliflower Recipe

  • Fresh cauliflower
  • Salt and pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Sharp white cheddar and Parmesan cheese
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Bacon
  • Fresh parsley

Scroll below for full printable recipe.

How to Make Cauliflower Gratin

  • Preheat oven.
  • Par boil cauliflower.
  • Saute onions and garlic in butter, then cook flour with butter.
  • Pour in milk and nutmeg, bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/4 cups cheddar and the parmesan.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour 1/3 of the cheese sauce in baking dish, top with cauliflower then pour in remaining cheese sauce.
  • Sprinkle with remaining white cheddar and panko. Spritz panko with olive oil spray.
  • Bake 20 minutes then broil briefly for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and parsley and serve warm.

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

What Does it Taste Like?

To me the flavor is 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

The Perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas Side Dish

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.

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

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White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin
4.25 from 4 votes

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

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.
Servings: 7
Prep20 minutes
Cook35 minutes
Ready in: 55 minutes



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook florets until tender but still firm, about 5 - 6 minutes. Drain well.
  • 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.
  •  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.
  • 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. 
  • Sprinkle over remaining 1/4 cup white cheddar then sprinkle evenly with Panko. Spray Panko with olive oil cooking spray to lightly coat.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 59mg20%
Sodium 460mg20%
Potassium 752mg21%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 615IU12%
Vitamin C 95.5mg116%
Calcium 398mg40%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Recipe source: inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe