We know that carbohydrates aren’t the enemy but enjoying them in moderation certainly helps achieve a healthy balance. Our recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin serves 4 to 6 people and can be used as a side dish with a lean protein or as the main course! It has the creamy cheesiness of traditional mac and cheese without the noodles and is still quite flavorful and filling.
And you can feel good about serving it too! Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin is approved by the Veggies Early & Often campaign in support of our goal to provide more veggie-forward choices at mealtime. In fact, this recipe was submitted for a contest by the Food Service team at one of our schools in Maryland during the 2020-21 school year and the kids liked it so much, it’s still in rotation!
Before you get started, grab these ingredients:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (350 for convection ovens).
Next, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the frozen cauliflower and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until tender but still firm. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Then, whisk constantly for 1 minute or until it thickens. Remove from heat.
To finish the cheese sauce, stir in the pepper, nutmeg, and half of the cheese.
Pour ⅓ of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then pour the rest of the sauce evenly over the top.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and sprinkle on top.
To ensure the top browns nicely, melt the remaining butter and drizzle it over the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes before serving.
*This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 5/5/2023.