Cheesy Baked Cauliflower
Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

Low carb and absolutely delicious, this quick and easy cheesy cauliflower casserole makes a decadent side dish for the holiday or weeknight dinner. Keep it simple with tender florets and a rich cheese sauce, or load this cauliflower casserole with bacon and chopped chives.

A simple casserole of creamy, cheesy cauliflower makes a sumptuous holiday or weekday side dish, served alongside roasted chicken, pork chops, or steak! Tender, bite-sized florets are covered in a decadent cheese sauce loaded with cheddar and Monterey Jack.

Ways to customize cauliflower casserole

I like to keep things simple, but that also means I tend to use what’s handy. You don’t have to use only cauliflower for this dish.

A mix of cauliflower and broccoli is one of my favorite combinations. You can also replace the cauliflower with a completely different vegetable. Any lightly roasted, blanched, or steamed vegetable works well. Brussels sprouts, green beans, and broccoli are great options.

You can even use frozen veggies – just cook them according to package directions and drain excess liquid before combining with the sauce.

The cheese is just as easy to replace as the veggies. Pretty much any melty cheese — the kind you use in grilled cheese or mac and cheese will work.

I like to use a hot and a mild cheese to get a balanced taste. Feel free to use all one type of cheese if you like and that flavor will really come through. Avoid soft, spreadable cheeses like Brie and Camembert, as these make the sauce too greasy.

These are all good choices:

  • colby
  • Medium or mild cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Gruyere
  • Fontina
  • Provolone
  • Havarti

Tips and tricks for the creamiest cheese sauce

This sauce is pretty much foolproof and shouldn’t hurt you since it’s cooked very gently (it barely comes to a simmer) and contains lots of flour and cornstarch to keep it stable.

Just keep a close eye, stir continuously, and remove from the heat as soon as it thickens, and it will come out perfectly every time. You can even use a probe thermometer to guide you, removing the pot from the heat when the sauce reads 200oF.

Grate the cheese yourself instead of buying it pre-shredded. This is a case where a convenience ingredient actually does more harm than good.

The anti-caking agents used in pre-shredded cheese tend to do weird things with the texture of cheese sauces, making them gooey and gooey. You’ll get much better results if you rub your own.

How to bake cheesy cauliflower ahead of time

This casserole can be made up to a day in advance and baked just before serving.

If you’re putting the casserole straight into the oven from the fridge, you’ll need to bake it a few minutes longer. Just test with a fork or probe thermometer to make sure it’s hot in the center (around 170°F).

  • Freeze: Once cooked, you can freeze individual servings of this casserole in small resealable containers.
  • Warm up from frozen: Microwave on high for about two to three minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave. Let it sit for a minute or two after removing it from the microwave to allow the temperature to even out, then enjoy!

More comforting side dishes

  • Cheesy funeral potatoes
  • Cheese Spaghetti Squash Casserole
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Baked potatoes with caramelized onions and Gruyere

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
20 minutes

10 mins

total time
50 minutes

up to 8 servings


  • 2 big heads (10 cups) cauliflowercut into bite-sized florets

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

  • 8th ounces sharp cheddar cheesegrated

  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack Cheesegrated

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1/4 Cup all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F (set it to convection if you have it).

  2. Prepare cauliflower and casserole dish:

    Butter a 2-quart (8-inch square) baking dish. Toss the cauliflower with oil in a large bowl, then spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes until just tender and lightly browned.

  3. Spread the cheese with cornstarch:

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and cornstarch. Measure out 1/2 cup of the cornstarch coated cheese and set aside for topping.

  4. Make the cheese sauce:

    In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, just to fully combine the butter and flour and cook out the flavor of the raw flour a bit – you don’t want the roux to get too brown or overdone yet .

    Pour in the milk and cream in a thin stream, beating constantly to avoid lumps forming. Let the sauce simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn off the heater.

    Stir in the shredded cheese, salt, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, mustard powder, and turmeric until cheese is completely melted and sauce is smooth.

  5. Combine the cauliflower and cheese sauce:

    When the cauliflower is done roasting, place the florets in a large mixing bowl. While the cauliflower is still hot, add the warm cheese sauce and toss gently until all of the cauliflower is coated in the sauce.

  6. Transfer the cauliflower to the casserole dish:

    Pour the steamed cauliflower into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup cheese on top.

  7. Bake:

    Bake the casserole until the cheese is bubbling on top and the cauliflower is hot through, 15 minutes.

  8. Surcharge:

    Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before spooning onto serving plates. Serve warm.

nutritional information (per serving)
367 calories
29g Fat
14g carbohydrates
15g protein
Previous articleGrilled Pizza With Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Onions
Next articleSautéed Escarole
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!