Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin

4.96 from 24 votes

This Oven Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin recipe is a take on the classic potato side dish - perfect to serve on Thanksgiving or with a chicken or steak dinner

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Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin (or simply Cauliflower Gratin) is a new way to enjoy more heart-healthy cruciferous vegetables – aka cauliflower and broccoli! It’s a lower-carb spin on the traditional potato gratin. Cauliflower still has carbs, but only about 140g for a whole cauliflower head versus 150g for one potato. It’s a modern take on a classic that’s perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

top down shot of roasted cauliflower au gratin in a dish

Roasted cauliflower drizzled with a cheesy creamy sauce melted all over is also a great way to get your kids to eat more cauliflower. Heck, it’s a great way to get adults to eat more cauliflower, and I’m all about that! Pair up this cauliflower au gratin side dish with steak or seared lamb for a slam dunk, well-rounded meal!

How do you make cauliflower gratin?

Start by roasting the cauliflower int the oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can also roast it in the casserole dish. However spreading it out helps to crisp up the cauliflower florets. Drizzle it with olive oil, then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Alternatively you can boil the cauliflower, but roasting it gives the dish a better flavor.

top down shot of cauliflower florets

While the cauliflower is roasting, you can make a bechamel sauce by whisking butter and flour, and then gradually adding warm milk, nutmeg and cheese. It creates a simple delicious cheesy sauce that is iconic of gratin recipes. When the cauliflower is done roasting, transfer it to a casserole dish and pour the sauce over the cauliflower.

collage of cauliflower in a dish with cheese and cream poured onto it

You can give it a gentle stir or leave it as is. Then sprinkle panko breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese on top and return to the oven until the top is golden brown and whole dish is bubbling.

collage of cauliflower in a dish and cheese place on top

Sprinkle the finished cauliflower au gratin it with some fresh parsley, and serve it while it’s hot with a main dish.

overhead shot of cauliflower au gratin in a white dish

Tips for making cauliflower au gratin

  • Use a hard cheese to get a crispy edge. This includes gruyere, which is what’s traditionally used, but also parmesan cheese works well. Soft cheeses like mozzarella and Gouda are great for getting a melted top.
  • Add more vegetables for more color and variety. This method works really well with other vegetables. I recommend adding broccoli and carrots to it.
  • Let a cauliflower gratin sit for a few minutes before serving. That will allow everything to set properly so it doesn’t fall apart when you serve it. Plus, it won’t be as piping hot then!
Individual portion of the cauliflower au gratin spooned into a small bowl

If you’re looking for an alternative to potato gratin or Baked Macaroni and Cheese with extra veggies, you’ve got to try this cauliflower gratin recipe. It elevates the simple cauliflower vegetable into a cheesy crave-worthy dish complete with crispy bits of roasted cheese and breadcrumbs!

This cauliflower au gratin is a modern take on potato au gratin with less carbs and calories. Roasting the cauliflower adds a wonderful flavor that pairs well with the nutty creamy sauce. It’s a delicious side dish recipe that’s cheesy, easy and pleases everyone! It’s simple enough for weeknights, but also fun to serve with a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner.

More cauliflower recipes:

More side dishes for Thanksgiving:

roasted cauliflower au gratin in a bowl

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Cauliflower Gratin recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

This Cauliflower Gratin recipe was originally published on March 6, 2017. I’m re-sharing it today with more step-by-step photos and a video! Here’s the original photo ?

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin i a glass baking dish

Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin

This Oven Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin recipe is a take on the classic potato side dish – perfect to serve on Thanksgiving or with a chicken or steak dinner
5 from 24 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side Dish
Calories 204
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup freshly grated Gruyere divided
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning at the halfway point.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until well blended. Slowly whisk in the warm milk and stir until the mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, season with nutmeg and mix in half the cheese.
  • Transfer the roasted cauliflower from a baking pan to an 8×11 casserole dish. Pour the sauce evenly on top. Then sprinkle with the remaining gruyere and panko breadcrumbs.
  • Low the oven temperature to 375°F and bake until the top is browned and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 3 days in the fridge, but the consistency is best if eaten the first day. To reheat, place in the microwave for a minute or in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes. I would not recommend freezing the dish though.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Use other types of shredded cheese in place of gruyere if you’d prefer. Since this recipe is French in origin, gruyere is the traditional cheese use, but it works well with mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese.
  • Instead of milk, you can use dairy-free milk like unsweetened almond milk.
  • Instead of butter, you can use olive oil.
  • To make it gluten-free, you can use almond flour or a GF 1:1 mix. Here’s an excellent post on how to make gluten-free roux.
Nutritional Data: The information below is an automated estimate. It could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 204kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 78mg, Potassium: 168mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 490IU, Vitamin C: 12.9mg, Calcium: 207mg, Iron: 0.4mg

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Final cauliflower au gratin recipe out of the oven topped with parsley

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Comments

  1. Made this last night and it was pretty delicious. Great substitute for the “potato au gratin” and much healthier. Had a minor issue with using almond milk as a substitute: It did not want to thicken, so the sauce was a little on the runny side. However, it still tasted great! Another one of your successful recipe recreations!

  2. This is a great recipe! So easy to make and so delicious. For the past 2 years I have been making it for Thanksgiving instead of my usual Mac and Cheese. My family absolutely love it and there is never any left overs. Thank you for another amazing recipe!

  3. This recipe is so so good! As a lactose free, gluten free foodie, I appreciate the super easy tweaks to make this doable for me. I substituted dairy free cream for the milk, used gluten free flour, and topped with crumbled Parmesan crisps. Everyone loved it—even those without dietary restrictions! Thank you so much for your incredible recipes!

    1. Love that you were able to make it work with the dairy-free gluten-free recommendations. Thanks so much for your feedback!

  4. If I bake the florets earlier in the day (before cooking a turkey) and then finish the recipe later will it still come out the same or should I cook the whole recipe earlier and just reheat it when serving everything?

    1. I think it’s a great idea to cook the florets before the turkey and then finishing it off with the cheese before serving. It will come out best then!

  5. Great recipe! Liked it better roasted than the boiled cauliflower recipes! Made it twice. Both times big hit with the whole family!

  6. Love love love. Another great recipe Yumna! This is the 3rd recipe I tried of yours three days in a row. Keep up the great work