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Cheesy Cauliflower

Cheesy cauliflower is the best low carb side dish. Cauliflower florets are baked with homemade cheese sauce until golden brown ton top. Perfect side dish for a weeknight dinner or the holidays!

cheesy cauliflower casserole in a white baking dish

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables and is a fantastic low carb star that can take on many flavors.

Some of our favorite ways to eat it include cauliflower alfredo sauce, roasted frozen cauliflower, orange cauliflower, and cilantro lime cauliflower rice.

This homemade cheesy baked cauliflower is so incredibly delicious that even kids will eat their veggies!

First you start out with roasted cauliflower, then top it with a homemade easy cheese sauce, and top with a little more cheese on top to get that incredible browned cheese at the end!

spoon scooping cheesy cauliflower from the dish

Ingredients to make cheesy cauliflower

  • cauliflower: fresh cauliflower is best here. Frozen would not work the same way.
  • milk: the recipe calls for 2% milk, but whole milk would work also.
  • mozzarella
  • cheddar
  • cornstarch: to thicken the cheese sauce
  • spices (garlic, onion, basil, oregano, paprika, salt)
ingredients to make cheesy cauliflower

How to make cheesy cauliflower

Step 1: chop up one head of cauliflower into bite sized florets. Place the cauliflower into a small baking dish, and spray with olive oil spray. Bake the cauliflower at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

cauliflower florets in a white baking dish

Making the cheese sauce

Step 2: while the cauliflower is baking, it is time to make the homemade cheese sauce.

This recipe is made with cornstarch which allows it to thicken without a roux! It’s a method that we also use to make homemade cheddar cheese sauce and nacho cheese sauce.

To make the cheese sauce, simply add the milk, cornstarch, cheddar cheese, and all spices to a saucepan.

Stir with a spoon or whisk over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

ingredients to make cheese sauce

Step 3: Once the cheese sauce is done and the cauliflower has finished baking for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower florets. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and the shredded mozzarella cheese.

This extra cheese on top is what will give us those yummy browned cheesy bits on top.

collage image showing the cheese sauce poured over the cauliflower, then the shredded cheese placed on top

Step 4: Bake the cheesy cauliflower casserole at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and begins to brown. Serve immediately!

cheesy cauliflower casserole in a white baking dish

If you struggle to get your kids to eat their veggies, this is a great recipe to try.

My very picky 4 year old had seconds of this and in his own words “didn’t even want to stop eating it.”

This cheesy casserole would also make a great different side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday.

cheesy cauliflower on a white plate

More veggie side dishes

fork with a piece of cheesy cauliflower

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cheesy cauliflower on a white plate

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cheesy cauliflower on a white plate

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spoon scooping cheesy cauliflower from the dish

Cheesy Cauliflower

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Easy homemade cheesy cauliflower casserole is a delicious low carb side dish for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 oz block of fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Place cauliflower florets in a baking dish and spray with olive oil spray
  2. Bake the cauliflower at 400 degrees for 10 minutes
  3. While the cauliflower is baking, make the cheese sauce.
  4. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, paprika, salt, milk, cornstarch, and 2 cups of cheddar cheese to a medium sized saucepan (you will use all of the cheddar in the sauce, except for ½ cup saved for the top of the dish)
  5. Cook the cheese sauce over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes, whisking or stirring often, until thickened
  6. After the cauliflower has cooked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and pour the cheese sauce over the top. 
  7. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheddar and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese over the top
  8. Bake the cheesy cauliflower at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown on top and is bubbly
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 414mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g

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John A. Hollister

Thursday 24th of August 2023

I was intrigued by eliminating the roux for cheese sauce by using cornstarch instead. So I adapted this recipe to a flavor spectrum which I love and took it to a pot luck: --Fried 1/4 lb thick-cut bacon until crisp, then transferred to paper towels to drain. When cool and dry, diced bacon finely. --Tossed cauliflower florets in bacon drippings to coat prior to roasting them in the oven as directed. Baked them a little longer than directed to get a nice golden color. --For the cheese sauce, substituted heavy cream for the milk and Havarti cheese for the Mozzarella. Because Havarti is quite soft and tends to clog the grater, prior to grating I put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden it. A half hour might have been even better. --Otherwise made the sauce as directed (but in a double boiler) but kept the cheese out until the sauce was thoroughly warm, then added the cheese and the bacon bits and stirred just until the cheese had melted. Then poured the sauce over the cauliflower and baked it as directed. Got rave reviews!

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