Looking for a great way to make cauliflower gratin? Look no further.
Whether you are really interested in going Keto or just love cauliflower, this is a fantastic side dish for any meal. We are going to talk about how to make this easy, delicious dish, as well as what you can pair it with when making it.
If you are not sure what this dish is, it is a casserole that consists of cauliflower, cheeses, cream, butter, and spices. This is definitely a delicious low-carb choice that is perfect for any meal.
First, let’s get the ingredients together and prep for some delectable cauliflower gratin.
The first thing you will need to do is gather up the ingredients for cauliflower gratin. We will get into additional toppings for the recipe later, these are just the basics of what you need.
One. One large head of cauliflower
One cup of heavy cream
One cup grated parmesan (we recommend getting a block of parmesan and grating it yourself, as this type tends to melt better than the pre-packaged cheese, but you can use either option)
¼ Cup of bread crumbs
½ Teaspoon of ground black pepper
Four tablespoons (half a stick) of unsalted butter
¾ Cup of Gruyere cheese
¼ Cup of cream cheese
One ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Two teaspoons of finely chopped garlic
Now that you have gathered all of the essential ingredients, there are a few additional steps to go through before starting the dish.
First, make sure that your oven is preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, you will want to take the head of cauliflower you bought and cut it carefully into small florets. Bite-sized pieces will work perfectly for this recipe. Then take those florets and boil them in a pot full of salted water for about five to six minutes – you want them to be tender, but still firm enough that they do not fall apart when stabbed with a fork.
Once these steps have been completed, you are ready to get the entire cauliflower gratin dish together.
Cauliflower Gratin Recipe
Once the oven is preheated and the cauliflower is cut up into small florets and boiled, you’ll have a fairly simple time getting the rest of the dish put together.
Next up, you will want to take a medium saucepan and put it on the stove over medium heat. Melt two tablespoons of the butter (approximately one-quarter of a stick, half of what you set aside) in the saucepan. Once it is completely melted, toss in the three tablespoons of flour while stirring constantly. Do this for two whole minutes.
After that last step, you are going to want to slowly pour the heavy cream into the flour and butter mixture while continuing to stir the concoction. Keep on stirring consistently until the mixture comes to a steady boil.
While the heavy cream, flour, and butter mixture is boiling, whisk it very quickly for just about a minute, or until the substance thickens considerably. Then, take it off of the heat.
Once the liquid is off the heated stove, add the Gruyere cheese, as well as a teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and half a cup of freshly grated parmesan. Mix everything together until all of the cheeses and spices are evenly distributed within the creamy sauce.
Next, you will want to have a two or three-inch deep baking dish ready. Pour about a third of the sauce you just created into the bottom of the baking dish. Then, placed the cauliflower florets directly on top of the sauce.
Now spread all of the sauce you have left over the cauliflower florets. Mix together the ¼ cup of cream cheese with the ¼ cup of breadcrumbs, and spread that over the entire dish until you have a thick layer covering the whole dish.
Then, either in your microwave or in a saucepan on the stove, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once it has been completely melted, drizzle the butter over the cauliflower gratin. Sprinkle with the kosher salt, ground black pepper, and the minced garlic.
Now you can stick the dish into the oven and cook it for 25 to 35 minutes. Take it out of the oven once the top is golden brown.
You can serve this dish hot and fresh out of the oven, or at room temperature.
Also, a quick tip if you do end up with leftovers (even though with this recipe, we don’t think you will): Use aluminum foil when storing the remnants of this casserole in the fridge. This will keep the cauliflower gratin moist and delicious when you go back for seconds.
Now that you know how to make the basic dish, let’s take a look at some fun and exciting toppings to mix it up a little.
Additional Toppings and Recipe Variations
So if you really enjoy eating cauliflower gratin but want a few twists for it, we will be taking a look at some of the most delicious toppings and variations of the recipe that you can do.
The first one that we really like is adding parsnip and shallots to the cauliflower gratin. The rest of the recipe is essentially the same, but with these two ingredients added in. (There is a lovely recipe for this that we adore right here). This idea is not too terribly extreme, but it is perfect if you just want a slightly different flavor.
Another option that we really love, especially if you like a little more spice and heat in your life, is adding a splash of hot sauce and dijon mustard to the recipe. This is a great option because the level of spiciness is completely up to you. For us personally, we like to add three tablespoons of Frank’s Hot Sauce (the buffalo variation) and then two tablespoons of any Dijon mustard. You can also use Sriracha instead if you really want some extra heat.
If you want to pack a protein-filled punch with this dish, meat is also a fantastic addition to cauliflower gratin. We personally like to add bacon to it, either full strips that have been broken apart and tossed in the dish before baking, or just bacon bits sprinkled on top. Ham, grilled chicken, steak, or even lamb are also excellent options to add to the dish.
You can also mix up the different types of cheese you put in the dish. Our favorites are cream cheese and Gruyere, but you can truly use whatever type you like best – Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Smoked Gouda, Fontina, etc. The list is definitely endless, and each type of cheese has its own unique flavor, so trying out a few may be a good idea as well.
Lastly, you can also easily mix in other vegetables to give the dish a more unique taste. Throwing in broccoli, onions, potatoes, or even green beans can really make the dish a little more interesting (and colorful).
We are also going to take a look at what other side dishes and entrées go best with cauliflower gratin.
Pairings (What to Make With It)
Now that you have made a great side dish, we should talk about what the rest of the meal is going to look like.
There are many, many different options for serving this dish, and honestly, it would taste good with most entrées. We are going to share some of our favorites with you to get your creative wheels spinning for future dinners with cauliflower gratin.
The first meal that we really enjoy this casserole with is lamb chops. Having a rich, flavorful meat cooked with garlic and other spices is a really great contrast to the creamy, less “loud” cauliflower gratin. This recipe is a delicious pairing with the dish, and you’ll never make lamb chops any other way after trying it.
Another option that we adore is this delectable skillet garlic butter herb steak and potatoes with the cauliflower gratin. This dish pretty much takes care of the rest of the meal in its entirety, since it includes meat and potatoes. The buttery and herb-filled meat give the cauliflower some incredible flavors, especially mixed with the cream cheese and Gruyere cheese.
The last pairing that we will share with you today is with a classic meatloaf. This is a traditional staple for many families, and what better to eat your new favorite side dish with than one of your favorite entrées? The beefy rich meat with steak sauce will really be enhanced by the creamy, cheesy cauliflower gratin.
Cauliflower gratin is a wonderful, flavorful dish full of different possibilities. We hope you and whoever you decide to cook this for enjoy this as much as we do.
Let us know what variations and tweaks you made to the recipe we have posted above. How do you like this dish best? What additions are you most likely to try and use in the recipe?