Cauliflower Gratin Recipe


Cauliflower: 1 large head cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets

Butter: 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

Onion (optional): 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

Garlic (optional): 2 cloves garlic, minced

Flour: 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour as needed)

Milk: 2 cups milk (whole or 2% work best, plant-based milks are fine but might slightly alter flavor)


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)


  • 1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs (optional): 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs or almond meal (for additional texture)


1. Prep and Cook the Cauliflower

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender-crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2. Make the Cheese Sauce

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add onion and garlic (if using) and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute to cook out the raw flour taste.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring the mixture is smooth before adding more. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened.
  • Reduce heat to low, stir in 1/2 cup Gruyere, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth.

3. Assemble

  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish (or a similar size).
  • Add cooked cauliflower to the baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the cauliflower.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Gruyere and breadcrumbs (if using).

4. Bake and Finish

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.
  • If you desire an extra-crispy top, broil for 1-2 minutes at the end, watching carefully to avoid burning.
  • Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Don’t overcook the cauliflower: You want it tender-crisp so it holds its shape in the gratin.

Experiment with cheeses: Fontina, cheddar, or other melty cheeses are great substitutes for Gruyere.

Additions: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a touch of heat or chopped fresh herbs like thyme or parsley before serving.

Make it ahead: Assemble the gratin up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes when ready to serve.


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