Cauliflower au gratin is cauliflower florets cooked in a creamy Gruyère cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection. A simple, yet elegant and delicious side dish! If you're a fan of cheesy cauliflower, you’ll love this easy, flavorful, crowd-pleasing recipe. This is my absolute favorite way to eat cauliflower!
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir the cauliflower into the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook until the cauliflower starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Gruyère cheese until melted.
Pour mixture into a 2 quart baking dish. Combine the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle over top. Cover with foil and bake until cauliflower is tender (can be easily pierced with a knifte), about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden.
Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.
*Bacon or pancetta would be a tasty addition to the gratin. Cook diced bacon or pancetta until crisp, drain well, and stir into the sauce before pouring the cheesy cauliflower mixture into the baking dish.
**This dish is best eaten right away. If you do have leftovers, heat them gently in the oven until they’re heated through, or in the microwave. They will keep a couple of days in the fridge.
Photos by Danielle from Our Salty Kitchen.