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Apr 13, 2024

Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower Cheese is a delicious dish of cauliflower baked in the cheesiest cheddar sauce until it is bubbly and golden. 

Cauliflower Cheese in two white bowls.

Cauliflower cheese is the name for an English dish. No, it's not cheese made from cauliflower. It's cauliflower smothered in a sauce loaded with real cheddar cheese, and then baked. Along with the cheese, it's flavored with mustard powder and ground cayenne. 

I think one of the first things I learned to make in "home economics" class was white sauce, or béchamel. In fact, I'm pretty sure we used it to make macaroni and cheese. As I made this cauliflower cheese, I was having flashbacks to 7th grade. 

Bowls of Cauliflower Cheese.

While I'm not a big fan of pretend food (cauliflower pizza crust anyone?), this cauliflower casserole is reminiscent of mac and cheese, without the pasta. Flavor wise, this dish could also be mistaken for cheesy mashed potatoes, only with less carbs. 

You will love this cauliflower cheese. It's wonderful fresh from the oven. It also makes fabulous leftovers, reheated in the oven or toaster oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Cauliflower Cheese Close Up.

You could definitely play around with this dish, adding other vegetables and herbs, bacon, prosciutto, or topping it with breadcrumbs. 

I'm pretty happy with it just the way it is.


Cauliflower: You will need about 2 pounds of florets. 

Dairy: Unsalted butter, whole milk, and sharp white Cheddar cheese.  

Pantry Ingredients: Flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and mustard powder.

Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley. 


First, you parboil the cauliflower just a little bit and let it drain. 

Next, you prepare the cheese sauce. Create a bèchamel and then slowly add the cheese to create a mornay sauce. Fancy, right? 

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower, top it with more cheese, and bake it until it is all toasty and browned. 

Cauliflower Cheese in a blue casserole dish.

This cauliflower cheese is amazing straight out of the oven. If you have leftovers, you can easily reheat them either in the oven or microwave. 

This is the best stuff ever! 

This is an updated post, first published April, 2017 and updated April 2024 with new photos and printable recipe card. 

Cauliflower Cheese in a casserole with a small amount on a plate in front.

This week, the Sunday Funday group is sharing recipes with broccoli or cauliflower. Be sure to check out everyone's recipes:

Cauliflower Cheese in two bowls.

Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower Cheese
Yield: 4 serving
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 10 M
Cauliflower Cheese is a delicious dish of cauliflower baked in the cheesiest cheddar sauce until it is bubbly and golden.


  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (2 to 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons (1 ounce) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) very sharp white cheddar cheese, plus 4 tablespoons, reserved
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim and cut the cauliflower into florets. Parboil the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain the florets and spread them out over kitchen towels to drain off any extra moisture. Set aside.
  2. In a 3 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the flour and cook for one minute, whisking constantly. Add the mustard powder, peppers, and stir.
  3. Add the milk in a thin steady stream while whisking constantly. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring with a spoon, until the mixture thickens. Add in the 5 1/2 ounces of cheese, one handful at a time, stirring each time until each addition is melted. Season the sauce to taste.
  4. Add the cauliflower to to a 2 quart casserole and evenly cover with the sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining grated cheese and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and a deep golden brown. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

19 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

14 g

Carbs (grams)

13 g

Fiber (grams)

2 g

Net carbs

11 g

Sugar (grams)

6 g

Protein (grams)

11 g

Cholesterol (grams)

53 mg
Cauliflower, cheese
Side dish
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Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Would you like to comment?

  1. I made a version of this a while ago - felt virtuous. Then wolfed down 3/4 of it.

    oh, well

    best laid plans

    I should re-make your version, I adore cauliflower in all forms and yes, I've been guilty of the cauliflower pizza crust. For that sin, I hope you can forgive me... ;-)

    still friends?

  2. It does look delicious! I wish that my hubby and son would eat it!

  3. Gorgeously golden bake! I have also made the cauliflower pizza crust… that does remind me of "cauliflower cheese squashed flat".

  4. We are all about cauliflower right now! And with cheese? Sign me up!

  5. Amazing dish Karen! We'd love to try this out with a few breadcrumbs on top for a thicker crust:) Loved what you did with such simple ingredients. KU-DOS! xoxo

    1. I think breadcrumbs would be an amazing addition.

  6. Ooooh I love extra sharp cheese. This looks fantastic!

  7. This recipe sounds so good and delicious!

  8. Cheese sauce is always a great way to sneak veggies into the family's diet.

  9. This sounds amazing - can't go wrong with cheese!

  10. As I mentioned, one of my British husband's favorite dishes! I steam the cauliflower head whole and pour the cheese sauce over it to bake, a method I learned from an English friend. Your dish looks fabulous, Karen!

    1. That sounds great!! I'm going to have to give that a try! Thank you!

  11. Cauliflower pizza don't like it at all. But cauliflower cheese, yes please anytime. Love it. Sometimes mix both cauliflower and broccoli.

  12. This sounds amazing. I always need more veggie recipes and cauliflower with cheese sounds perfect!

  13. I love that you used ground mustard! I always use it when making cheese sauces as it give it a little zing. I can't wait to make this.


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