25 Days of Holiday Recipes: Cauliflower Cheddar Gratin

So much of what I cook is driven by what’s in the refrigerator that needs to be used.

I think most of us are like that. I commend the person who makes meal plans and shops for them, but that’s not us most of the time. I had been looking for a good use for the massive amount of cauliflower that we ended up with in the fridge, and then we went to a party where the hostess served this fabulous dish.

My search for a recipe was over, but I still needed a good aged cheddar. Luckily we have a local market that stocks wonderful cheeses, and we were able to find an Irish cheddar that was also low-fat. I was ready to plunge headlong into a vat of luscious cauliflower and cheese. MmMm good.

This recipe is perfect for a small party as one of your veggie dishes or it can be doubled or tripled for a larger group. I guarantee it will be gone if you take it to a church potluck supper and people will be begging you for the recipe!

Cauliflower Cheddar Gratin

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

Serving Size: About 1 cup

Calories per serving: 312 per serving

Fat per serving: 16 grams per serving


  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 1 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 lb reduced-fat cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard (Colman's)
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 450°F.

Trim the cauliflower & break into small florets. Boil in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a colander and then place in an ovenproof baking dish. Chop the florets into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour a small amount at a time and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and continue stirring continuously until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth. Allow to simmer for a further 2 minutes. Add three-quarters of the grated cheese, mustard, a pinch of nutmeg and seasoning. Cook for further minute stirring well.

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Mix the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle over the top. Put the casserole on a cookie sheet as it may bubble over. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 450F for about 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.


Although this recipe uses lower-fat options whenever possible, it cannot be considered a low fat choice. Choosing a smaller serving size would lower the calorie count while still preserving the fabulous flavor of this dish.

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