Cauliflower cheese is the perfect side dish for any roast dinner! It's easy to make, and it's a great way to get your family to eat their vegetables. We will show you how to make cauliflower cheese step-by-step.
Our homemade cheese sauce, made from scratch, really takes this classic vegetable side up a notch. Making it extra cheesy, creamy and bold in flavour.
Check out the video to see how to make cauliflower cheese step-by-step. Serve a meal that your entire family will enjoy.
Or jump straight to what you need to know to make homemade cauliflower cheese.
Cauliflower cheese is an iconic British side dish or vegetarian main meal. It first appeared in cookbooks as early as the 17th century. It has since been popularized throughout Europe.
The cauliflower cheese dish typically consists of cauliflower florets cooked in a cheese sauce. It is typically served as a side dish for roast beef, chicken or pork. Or with the traditional British Christmas dinner, Roast Turkey.
The ingredients for cauliflower cheese include cheese, cauliflower florets, butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper to taste.
We like to add mustard, nutmeg and breadcrumbs too, but these are optional.The ingredient measurements needed for this recipe are included in the recipe card.
Cauliflower is the star of this delicious cauliflower cheese recipe.
It is a versatile vegetable that can be cooked and served in many ways, including steaming, boiling and roasting.
While cauliflower may not have the same tasty appeal as other vegetables. Its mild taste and crunchy texture make it excellent for adding a cheesy sauce to.
You can buy a white sauce packet mix. But making your own white sauce is quick and easy using the following ingredients.
Butter is an important part of creating a roux for white sauce when making cauliflower cheese.
A roux is a thickening agent made with equal parts of fat and flour, which is used to create the velvety smooth cheese sauce that cauliflower cheese calls for.
Plain flour is added to butter to create a roux.
Milk is added to the roux to create a smooth, creamy sauce.
The type of cheese used will vary depending on your personal preference and what you have available.
Using two different kinds of cheese to create a thick sauce for cauliflower cheese can take this side dish up a notch and make it extra flavourful and creamy.
We suggest using a strong-flavoured cheese such as mature cheddar for its intense, nutty, salty flavour, and a softer cheese like gouda for its smooth texture .
The ultimate combination of these two kinds of cheese in your sauce will give you an incredibly rich and creamy texture.
The sharpness of the cheddar balancing out the mellow sweetness of the gouda.
If you prefer something milder, try combining mild or medium cheddar cheese with parmesan.
Gruyere is another fantastic melting cheese with a nutty, earthy flavour. Swiss cheese such as Emmental, will give you an even nuttier depth of flavour.
Red Leicester will add a lovely colour to the topping. If you like blue cheese, this will add a fantastic strong salty taste.
You can change the cheeses to suit your preferences. Its also a great way to use up some of your leftover Christmas cheeses.
Here are a few extra optional ingredients to make this recipe even better!
Adding mustard to the cheese sauce gives cauliflower cheese a wonderful kick of flavour. While also providing a delicious contrast to the sharpness of the cheese.
The creamy, yet tart and slightly sweet flavours of dijon mustard are perfect for adding complexity to the dish without overwhelming it.
You can try other mustards like English mustard for a more fiery kick or mustard powder for a milder taste.
For an extra layer of texture, you can add some breadcrumbs to the topping, which also adds a nice crunch and a golden brown crumb to this cheese fest. You can use dried breadcrumbs or make your own. We used panko breadcrumbs.
Herbs and Spices
Consider adding some herbs or spices to the sauce or sprinkled on top of the cauliflower cheese to give an aromatic boost.
A pinch of ground nutmeg in the sauce will add a subtle aromatic taste to cauliflower cheese.
Adds a sweet yet savoury fresh flavour to cauliflower cheese, add fresh chopped leaves once cooked.
Gives a herby lemon flavour with a slightly minty taste, can be added to the sauce or sprinkled on top.
Freshens up the cauliflower cheese topping and adds a lovely pop of colour.
An onion-flavoured herb that gives cauliflower cheese a little delightful zing, sprinkle some on top or add to the sauce.
A strong and pungent herb that adds depth to the cheese sauce.
A spicy yet sweet spice that is perfect for cauliflower cheese. Adds a little heat to the sauce while also tempering the sharpness of the cheese.
In short, there are many different ways you can enhance cauliflower cheese with various ingredients and spices.
To make cauliflower cheese, chop up a head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Boil cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Until they are tender but still a bit firm. Drain and allow to air dry.
Preheat the oven 200°C/ 220°C/ 425°F/Gas Mark 7.
How to make a Cheese Sauce
Prepare your cheese sauce by melting butter in a large pan over medium low heat. Once melted, whisk in flour small bits at a time stirring constantly, to form a roux (smooth paste). Cook for a minute, do not allow it to turn brown.
Gradually add the milk, little splashes at a time constantly whisking between each addition to remove lumps.
Once all the remaining milk has been added add any flavouring you wish to the sauce (sauces, herbs or spices). We added dijon mustard and a pinch of nutmeg.
Bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens slightly. Reduce heat to a simmer and add your chosen cheese, stirring it in until it melts.
Mix in salt and black pepper to taste.
Place the drained boiled cauliflower into a baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over the top until evenly coated.
Cauliflower Cheese Topping
Top with a generous amount of grated cheese and breadcrumbs (if using).
Pop the cauliflower cheese into the oven at 200°C/ 220°C/ 425°F/ Gas Mark 7 for about 25 minutes, the cheese on top will melt, turning golden brown and bubbly.
For this cheesy vegetable recipe, you will need a large saucepan or pot for cooking the cauliflower and a strainer or colander to air dry it once cooked.
Use a whisk or wooden spoon to make the sauce in a large pan, and a 10 inch (26cm) round baking dish to bake the cauliflower cheese in the oven.
Serve hot as a side dish for your next roast dinner, or alongside vegetables and bread as a vegetarian main meal.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
- 1 whole Cauliflower cut into florets
- 50 grams Butter
- 50 grams Plain Flour
- 600 ml Milk
- 2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- pinch Nutmeg
- 100 gram Gouda
- 100 grams Mature Cheddar
- Salt and Pepper
- 50 grams Gouda Grated
- 50 grams Mature Cheddar Grated
- 20 grams Panko Breadcrumbs
- Chop a head of cauliflower into florets and set aside.1 whole Cauliflower
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the chopped cauliflower florets. Boil for around 5 minutes until they are tender but still firm.
- Drain the boiled cauliflower and let it air dry.Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 220°C/ 425°F/ Gas Mark 7
- Prepare the cheese sauce by melting butter in a large pan over medium-low heat, stirring in flour small bits at a time until you form a smooth paste (roux). Cook for 1 minute without allowing it to turn brown50 grams Plain Flour, 50 grams Butter
- Gradually add milk to the roux in small splashes, whisking constantly between each addition to remove lumps.600 ml Milk
- Add any desired flavourings such as dijon mustard or spices like paprika, parsley or thyme to the sauce and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil to help thicken.2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, pinch Nutmeg
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add your chosen cheese, stirring occasionally until it melts.100 gram Gouda, 100 grams Mature Cheddar
- Add salt and black pepper to tasteSalt and Pepper
- Place the drained cooked cauliflower chunks into a oven proof baking dish.
- Pour over the cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese and breadcrumbs if using.50 grams Gouda, 20 grams Panko Breadcrumbs, 50 grams Mature Cheddar
- Place the baking dish into the preheated oven (200°C/ 220°C/ 425°F/ Gas Mark 7) for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.
- Serve warm as an accompaniment or a main meal!
Check out this close-up of our creamy, cheesy Cauliflower Cheese.
Cauliflower cheese can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, though it is best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven.
To reheat, simply pop it back in the oven at 200°C/ 220°C/ 425°F/ Gas Mark 7. Until bubbly and golden brown.
Alternatively, you can also microwave cauliflower cheese on medium heat (on a microwaveable plate) for a few minutes until warmed through.
No, you do not need to grate the cheese; you can just break or chop it into small cubes if easier. You can simply stir it into the cauliflower cheese sauce until it melts and coats all of the cauliflower florets evenly.
Yes, there are many different options for adding additional flavors to cauliflower cheese. You can try sprinkling fresh thyme, parsley, chives on top once cooked. Or try adding garlic, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes or paprika in the sauce.
Yes, you can roast cauliflower florets instead of boiling them. To do so, preheat the oven to 180°C fan /200°C / 400°F, toss cauliflower florets in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and golden brown.
Then, add the roasted cauliflower to a baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over it.
Yes, simply follow the recipe as usual and store cooked cauliflower cheese wrapped in cling film in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, pop the cauliflower cheese in the oven at 180°C/ 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas Mark 6 until bubbly and golden.
I prefer doing it this way; the second cooking helps make the topping more golden and crunchy!
Yes, cauliflower cheese freezes okay, but the sauce can become a bit watery upon defrosting. Follow the recipe as usual, defrost for upto 6 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.
More Roast Dinner Side Dishes
Looking for more side dishes that are perfect for roast dinners. Some popular options include mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts. Or check out some of the below.
Whether you're cooking cauliflower cheese as a side dish for your next roast dinner, or making it as a hearty vegetarian main meal. This simple and delicious recipe is sure to become a family favourite.
More Cheese Recipes
With its rich and creamy cheese sauce, this classic dish is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters! So why not try making cauliflower cheese for your next family dinner?