This cauliflower cheese bake is creamy, cheesy - and super delicious! An easy side dish for your next weeknight meal, but it's special enough for your holiday table too! This side dish pairs well with so many dishes! Bonus: this can be made low carb, keto, and gluten free!
You Will Love This Recipe For Cheese Cauliflower!
There are 2 ways of making this recipe - the regular version (using flour as a thickener and breadcrumbs) and a low carb keto version (using xanthan gum as a thickener and pork panko for the topping).
Every time I make this recipe my family gobbles it up! By the way, I think this tastes better than mac and cheese!
You can vary the kinds of cheese and the quantity of cheese, and even change up the herbs to customize this to your liking too.
Make it a main dish by adding 1 to 2 cups of diced ham or chicken! Yum.
Cauliflower Cheese Bake Ingredients
Here's what you'll need to make this cauliflower cheese recipe:
- Head of Fresh Cauliflower: save time by buying pre cut fresh cauliflower florets. Frozen thawed cauliflower may be used but it can get watery.
- All Purpose Flour or Xanthan Gum: this is what will thicken your sauce use flour or the low carb option of xanthan gum.
- Whole Milk: heavy cream may also be used - it's much richer, though.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Fresh Parsley
- Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
- Ground Pepper
- Seasoned Breadcrumbs or Crushed Pork Rinds: this is for the topping, either can be used or omitted altogether.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Be sure to save this pin to Pinterest for later!
Variations and Substitutions
- Use mild, medium, or sharp cheddar cheese according to your taste preferences. White cheddar, smoked gouda, even Swiss cheese can be combined with the cheddar.
- Add a little paprika or smoke paprika.
- Add a little tang with dried mustard powder.
- Use dried herbs de Provence or even Italian seasoning in place of the fresh parsley.
How To Make This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with butter.
Strain cauliflower and place into a greased 2-quart casserole dish.
Make The Cheese Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add xanthan gum (or flour) and whisk into butter. Slowly whisk milk into the butter and flour mixture. Bring to a simmer and continue whisking until it thickens.
Add all but 2 oz of the cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper, stirring until melted.
Assemble and Bake
Pour over cauliflower and stir. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, top with pork panko or seasoned breadcrumbs.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. The casserole will thicken as it cools. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Serve and enjoy this tasty cauliflower cheese casserole. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.
What To Serve With Baked Cauliflower Cheese
Cauliflower Mac and cheese is just one of those perfect side dish recipes that pairs well with so many dishes.
For the holidays you'll love it with:
Yes. This casserole can be made ahead of time. Assemble the casserole per the instructions, but do not bake until the day of.
Once cooled transfer leftovers to an airtight container and keep in the fridge. This casserole will keep at least 3 to 4 days in the refrigeratoru003e
Cauliflower Cheese Recipe
- 4 cup cauliflower florets (cut into 2" pieces)
- 3 tablespoons butter (plus extra to butter dish)
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (low carb and keto: use ¼ to ½ teaspoon xanthan gum - a little goes a long way)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded - save 2 ounces for the top)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons seasoned breadcrumbs (low carb and keto: use finely crushed pork rinds)
- optional: garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter casserole dish. Cook cauliflower florets in salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Strain cauliflower and place into a greased 2-quart casserole dish.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk the flour (or xanthan gum) into the butter. Slowly whisk the milk into the butter and flour mixture. Bring to a simmer and continue whisking until it thickens.
- Add all but 2 ounces of the cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper, stirring until melted. Pour over cauliflower and stir.
- Sprinkle the top of the casserole with remaining cheese, then breadcrumbs (or crushed pork rinds). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. The casserole will thicken as it cools. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Add diced ham or chicken for a full meal!
© 2024 Seeking Good Eats™
Side Dish Recipes
- Buffalo Cauliflower
- Baked Zucchini Casserole With Cheese
- Layered Salad (Layered Overnight Salad)
- Roasted Red Cabbage
- Dill Pickle Slaw
- Italian Roasted Cabbage Slices
- Best Recipe for Cauliflower Steaks
Cauliflower mac and cheese is the perfect side dish for any meal or holiday! This baked cauliflower cheese recipe is creamy and cheesy - and tastes just as good as regular mac and cheese recipes! This cauliflower with cheese sauce can be made low carb, keto, and gluten free with a simple switch of a thickening agent.