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Cauliflower Cheese

Surprisingly delicious and easy all in one! If your family enjoys macaroni and cheese then they will likely devour this cauliflower mac and cheese dish too! Made with real cheese, ready in minutes it’s a treat everyone asks for.

Cheesy deliciousness with a cauliflower cheese sauce,  this tasty wonder will grace your dinner table for years to come, especially for low carb or other special dieters. 

 

Oval baking dish filled with browned cauliflower cheese, sitting on blue napkins with parmesan block in background and two spoons

Cauliflower Cheese

Why This Recipe Works

  1. READY in less than an hour!
  2. EASY!
  3. Real cheese lets you choose how sharp or mild the sauce is. 
  4. Great for Low Carb Diets!

This Is How a Cauliflower Cheese Recipe Is Done…

STEP 1. 

Precook the cauliflower.  (we like boiling it a little). 

Cauliflower cooking in water in a pan, hand stirring, pink towel in background

Pre cook the cauliflower

STEP 2. 

Make the cauliflower cheese sauce

The sauce for cauliflower cheese in a silver pan with towel in background

Make up the cheese sauce

STEP 3. 

Pour the cauliflower cheese sauce over the precooked cauliflower.

hand sprinkling parmesan over the cooked cauliflower with cheese sauce that is in a red baking dish

Pour the cheese sauce into the pan to bake, sprinkle with parmesan

STEP 4. 

Bake till heated through and bubbly and enjoy your cauliflower mac and cheese! 

Cauliflower Cheese @loavesanddishes.net

Cauliflower Cheese

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CAULIFLOWER CHEESE

WHERE DID CAULIFLOWER CHEESE COME FROM?

Cauliflower cheese(not called cauliflower mac and cheese over there) is a pub food from England. 

Wikipedia references an 1861 book called Ms Beeton’s Book of Household Management that references this dish.

HOW CAN I AVOID WATERY CAULIFLOWER CHEESE? 

It is essential that you precook the cauliflower and allow it to drain at the beginning of the recipe. 

The instructions are included in the recipe card.

WHAT CAN I SERVE WITH CAULIFLOWER CHEESE? 

Cauliflower cheese is good with any dish that you would serve macaroni and cheese with! 

Try it with...

Lamb Shanks in Wine Sauce

Nashville Hot Chicken Wings

Southern Short Ribs

CAN CAULIFLOWER CHEESE BE FROZEN? 

You CAN freeze this dish, but when you thaw it, it tends to separate and that really isn’t appetizing at all

HOW LONG DOES CAULIFLOWER CHEESE LAST? 

Covered and placed into the refrigerator,it is good for about 5 days

Do not allow it to sit out unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours

CAN CAULIFLOWER CHEESE BE PREPARED AHEAD? 

Yes, you can make this up to one day ahead. 

  • Put the recipe together but don’t do the final bake. 
  • Just before heating for dinner, place it in the oven for the final bake. 

WHY DID MY CAULIFLOWER CHEESE GO WATERY?

This Dish goes watery when it isn’t cooked and drained thoroughly enough before using. 

Check out the options for precooking the cauliflower before baking into this dish. 

WHAT MUSTARD IS BEST FOR CAULIFLOWER CHEESE?

Always choose the best whole grain mustard that you can afford

Personally, I prefer Lusty Monk Mustard, but that isn’t always available locally.

WHAT MEAT GOES WITH MY CAULIFLOWER CHEESE? 

Personally, we prefer red meats with ours. 

Try Hangry Hamburgers or a All the Secrets to Perfect Crockpot Pot Roast and you won’t go wrong! 

How Do I Reheat This? 

To reheat this dish…. 

IN A MICROWAVE

  1. Place the amount you want to heat on a plate,
  2. microwave on high for 1 minute,
  3. remove from the microwave and stir,
  4. repeat for 30 secs. 
  5. Continue to repeat until heated through.

IN THE OVEN

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
  2. Place the baking dish  in it into the warmed oven. 
  3. Heat at 350 for 20-30 minutes until heated through. 
  4. If the cauliflower cheese starts to become too brown on the top, cover with aluminum foil. 

TIPS &TRICKS For This Recipe

  • It is important to cook the cauliflower enough ahead of time so that most of the water is removed. I find this works best if you roast it in the oven or boil it. The roasting process gives the dish a LOT of flavor and zaps that water right out of there. 
  • Conversely, you can steam it, which also works but lends itself to retaining more of the water.
  • Regardless of how you decide to precook the cauliflower, it is absolutely necessary to drain the cauliflower on towels before moving forward. I always give the cauliflower a little press/squeeze to remove as much water as possible. 
  • You won’t want to use the stalks  in this recipe, they just never taste as good that way.
  • When make the roux (the butter and flour together) for the cheese sauce, allow the flour to cook for a few minutes. This gets the dusty flour taste out of the roux. 
  • It is imperative to choose a good quality mustard and a good quality sharp cheese.  This recipe has few ingredients and you really have to depend heavily upon the flavorful ingredients to carry their weight. 
  • A browned crusty top is THE BEST. If you prefer a more plain top, then cover with aluminum foil for baking. 

PRO TIP:  The flavors of the cheese and the mustard MAKE this recipe so choose the absolute best you can afford. You are looking for a deep sharp taste in both. Don’t make the mistake of going mild for this dish. Go for the GUSTO!

YA’LL HELP ME OUT, OK?

Be sweet and leave me a 5 STAR COMMENT 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 below, please. It helps others to find the recipes here at Loaves and Dishes. 

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Melted cheese on cauliflower in a dish with a fork and spoon

Cauliflower Cheese

Bubbling hot, cheesy goodness made with cauliflower.  The most decadent English Bar food you'll ever find.  Enjoy!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower cheese, cheesy cauliflower
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head approx. 2lbs cauliflower
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 4 tbs all purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp whole grain wet mustard
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Cups grated cheese very Sharp - something like Cabots
  • 1/4 Cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Remove cauliflower florets from the stalk and discard stalk. Cut florets into 1-2 inch pieces. Steam the cauliflower for 5- 10 minutes until firm but tender. ( or boil) You may also roast the cauliflower in the oven - a delicious twist!
  • Spread out 2-3 layers of paper towel onto a baking sheet and then spread the florets out onto a paper towel to dry while making the cheese sauce.
  • In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for about 1-2 minutes so that any flour taste will be removed.
  • Add the smoked paprika, black pepper and wet mustard, black pepper and stir to combine.
  • Pour the milk in a steady stream into the cheese sauce, whisking the whole time so that the mixture stays creamy and does not clump.
  • When mixture thickens, add the cheese one handful at a time. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt/pepper as needed.
  • Spread the dried cauliflower florets into a 2 quart baking dish (or iron skillet), spoon the sauce over the top and sprinkle the fresh Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake until browned and bubbly – about 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Notes

  • It is important to cook the cauliflower enough ahead of time so that most of the water is removed.  I find this works best if you roast it in the oven or boil it.  The roasting process gives the cauliflower a LOT of flavor and zaps that water right out of there. 
  • Conversely, you can steam the cauliflower, which also works but lends itself to retaining more of the water.
  • Regardless of how you decide to precook the cauliflower, it is absolutely necessary to drain the cauliflower on towels before moving forward.  I always give the cauliflower a little press/squeeze to remove as much water as possible. 
  • You won't want to use the stalks of the cauliflower in this recipe, they just never taste as good that way.
  • When make the roux (the butter and flour together) for the cheese sauce, allow the flour to cook for a few minutes.  This gets the dusty flour taste out of the roux. 
  • It is imperative to choose a good quality mustard and a good quality sharp cheese.  This recipe has few ingredients and you really have to depend heavily upon the flavorful ingredients to carry their weight. 
  • A browned crusty top is THE BEST. If you prefer a more plain top, then cover with aluminum foil for baking. 
PRO TIP:  The flavors of the cheese and the mustard MAKE this recipe so choose the absolute best you can afford. You are looking for a deep sharp taste in both.  Don't make the mistake of going mild for this dish.  Go for the GUSTO!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***This dish originally appeared on the pages of Loaves and Dishes on December 23, 2014, it has been updated with ‘why this recipe works’, “FAQ’s”, video, new photos, updated recipe card with nutrition information and updated instructions as well as PRO TIPS’***

A VERSE TO SHARE

Just thinking on this one today…

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. ~ John 1: 9-10

 

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Recipe Rating




Sara Miller

Monday 24th of February 2020

Wonderful! I have been making this for years and it's edible but always watery! Could never figure it out. Thanks to your recipe my new cauliflower bake is NOT watery. Finally! Sooooo good!! Thank you.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 24th of February 2020

Sara, thanks so much for coming back and leaving me a comment! I'm so glad you found the answers to too much water! :) . Cheers!

Melisa

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

Delicious! My whole family loves this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 28th of August 2019

Wonderful! Thank you for letting me know!

Tara

Saturday 27th of April 2019

Mmmm this looks delicious! We started eating low carb /high fat 5 months ago and we love it and this will fit the bill perfectly. I've tried other recipes but was disappointed. You've given some great tips! Can't wait to try this. I'll just change the milk to heavy whipping cream and the flour to Xantham gum to make this Keto. Mmmmmm

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 28th of April 2019

Hi Tara! Thanks for leaving me a comment! I'm so glad this looks like something that you and your family will love! :)

Moxie

Friday 2nd of February 2018

Perfect!

Water Park in Delhi NCR

Monday 5th of January 2015

Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

[email protected]

Monday 5th of January 2015

Thanks for visiting! Come again often! :)

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