Cauliflower Au Gratin

I honestly don't think there's anything better than vegetables smothered in béchamel sauce and cheese.  And this dish is absolute proof.

It's also the only way I got my son to eat cauliflower when he was little.

Cauliflower Au Gratin

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Serves: 5 Total Time: 50


  • 1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk (I warm it in the microwave, but you can also warm it in a saucepan on the stove over low heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (or panko)



Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Set a colander in the sink and drain the cauliflower.


After you cook the cauliflower, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over very low heat.


Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. If you find you have better luck incorporating the flour into the butter with a whisk, then use a whisk.


Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil.


Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. It will thicken quickly, so don't step away!


Remove the saucepan from the stove and add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere (the rest will go on top of the gratin later), and the Parmesan.


Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish.


Place the drained cauliflower on top and then pour the rest of the sauce evenly on top.


Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top.


Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.


Serve hot or at room temperature.

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