Fresh cauliflower is tossed with creamy béchamel, gruyere cheese, and topped with more cheese and crispy breadcrumbs. This cauliflower gratin is the perfect make-ahead side dish for any holiday table!
I absolutely love cauliflower – I know, I say that about everything, but it happens to be my favorite vegetable. A lot of people dislike cauliflower for whatever reason, but with this gratin recipe, even the top cauliflower critics will change their minds!
Cauliflower has always been my favorite vegetable – even as a kid. Whenever I would spend time at my Grammy Al’s house she would always take me to the grocery store and let me pick out a few things that I wanted to eat while at her house. Now, most kids would choose candy, cookies, chips or some other form of junk food, but not me – I always went for the cauliflower! I’d gladly take it steamed, boiled, roasted, even raw, but this recipe makes it something special.
Sometimes it’s nice to go meatless for a night (for me it’s most nights) during the week. I know I’m always looking for new ways to eat my veggies, and what a better way than baked gratin style? Seriously, if you love potatoes au gratin, you’re going to love this!
The sauce is much lighter than a classic gratin – onions are cooked in a little butter and olive oil, thickened up with some gluten-free flour, and made creamy with low-fat milk. Toss in some fresh thyme, a little gruyere, and your cauliflower and pour in your baking dish. I top with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs – it gives you a great cheesy, crunchy crust, and makes you think you’re eating something really indulgent.
I like serving the cauliflower gratin as a main dish alongside a salad, but you can easily make this as a side dish to chicken, beef, or pork. It’s very simple to put together and perfect for making ahead, which means it would also be a great addition to your holiday dinner menu!
- 4 Cups Cauliflower, from 1 large head, cut into florets
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 2 Cups Low-Fat Milk
- ½ Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated and divided
- ¼ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425º.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the cauliflower until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft; season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix well; cook for about 1 minute and then add the milk. Allow the milk to come to a simmer and slightly thicken, and then add in half of the cheese and the cauliflower and toss to coat.
- In a small bowl mix together the remaining cheese and panko; set aside.
- Pour the mixture into a 9x9-baking dish and top with the cheese and breadcrumb mixture. Bake the gratin at 425º for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
If making ahead, would you refrigerate it after coating the cauliflower with the sauce?
Yep! Just make the recipe as is and then refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake! 🙂
Bette Lanatovick says
Can you make it on Wednesday for Thursday?
Bette Lanatovick says
can you make it on Wednesday for Thursday?
Carla Patterson says
Oh, just wow – this really looks amazing. Truth be told, I have never tried anything like it – it must be extremely delicious though ^^ Thanks a lot for sharing it with us 😛