Creamy Cauliflower Gratin

Sometimes you just need something different to do with a cauliflower than mash it or steam it. This dish is gooey, comforting and vegetarian and I’m sure even non-cauliflower fans would like it because it’s topped with cheese. Who doesn’t like to find ways to add cheese on top of everything?

Cauliflower gratin in a cast iron skillet

Creamy Cauliflower Gratin

Emma J. Watling
Cheesy, flavorful cauliflower and carrot dish. Hearty and comforting. Perfect as a side dish or as an entrée for a vegetable plate. This reheats well and is great to make ahead.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 160 kcal


  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3/4 tsp salt divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese = 4 ounces


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil carrots for 5 minutes, or until firm-tender.
  • Add 1/4 tsp. salt and the cut cauliflower to pot with the carrots. Boil 5-10 minutes more, or until cauliflower is easily cut but not mushy.
  • Remove cauliflower and carrots from water and set aside.
  • In a large oven-proof skillet, melt butter on low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and carrots to onion/garlic pan and heat through.
  • Sprinkle flour around pan and stir into vegetable mixture until no flour pockets remain.
  • Add milk and stir into mixture. Let simmer on low until milk creams.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt along with black pepper, nutmeg and parsley. Mix well and spread vegetables around evenly in pan.
  • Top evenly with cheese but do not stir.
  • Broil on low in oven until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.


Most any oven safe pan will work for this dish—I have used a stainless steel deep side dish as well as a cast iron pan and both gave excellent results.
 Fresh shredded cheese is a must have—anti-caking agents in bagged cheese prevent it from melting as well. We have found that Colby Jack is the best option–cheddar is too oily for us but if it’s blended with another cheese it works okay.
 This dish is a great leftover lunch! Serve with salad as a main dish, or serve as a hearty side. Serves 4 as a main dish and 6-8 as a side.


Calories: 160kcal
Keyword Carrots, Cauliflower, Cheese, Heavy Cream
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