Cauliflower cheese

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 6
Pop this classic side dish in the oven when you take your roast chicken out to rest, so there's no hot shelf juggling

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal250
  • fat15g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein13g
  • salt0.62g
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  • 1 large cauliflower (leaves cut off), broken into pieces



    A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

  • 500ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 4 tbsp flour



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 100g strong cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs, if you have them


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then add the cauliflower and cook for 5 mins – lift out a piece to test, it should be cooked. Drain the cauliflower, then tip into an ovenproof dish.

  2. Heat oven to 220C/200C/gas 7. Put the saucepan back on the heat and add the milk, flour and butter. Keep whisking fast as the butter melts and the mixture comes to the boil – the flour will disappear and the sauce will begin to thicken. Whisk for 2 mins while the sauce bubbles and becomes nice and thick. Turn off the heat, stir in most of the cheese and pour over the cauliflower. Scatter over the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.

  3. When the chicken comes out of the oven (see 'Goes well with' recipe), pop in the Cauliflower cheese and bake for 20 mins until bubbling.

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Comments (110)

nischi's picture

Delicious, like others I add a bit of mustard and garlic to the sauce. Become a firm favourite.

RobynMN4L's picture

Brilliant, made into full dish by adding broccoli, spring onion and bacon on top. Mixed some garlic powder into the breadcrumbs and Doubled the amount of cheese for extra gooey goodness and flavour. Hubby loved. Will definitely recommend

Janine417's picture

Yummy! Great, easy (very saucy) recipe. Don't be afraid to add to it. I added some Dijon mustard, sliced spring onions and chopped spinach leaves. Delicious!

barbarawhitelock's picture

very easy to make and tastes very good, l put bacon on the top sliced, and it was a meal.

simpson123's picture

Made this and could hardly wait to taste it....Beautiful..Very little effort and well worth it ..will make this again.

lizleicester's picture

Used a small cauliflower and halved the quantities. It looked really good...

west1871's picture

Great way to make white sauce. I used a bit of nutmeg and a tsp of wholegrain mustard too. I also used a packet of crushed crisps and mixed with chedder to sprinkle on top instead of breadcrumbs which worked well.The only thing I would change is that I would try adding stilton aswell next time as the sauce needed to have a stronger taste even using mature chedder it wasnt enough for my taste.

beckyott's picture

Best cheese sauce I have made. I use half the quantity as I had a small cauliflower and also use the all in one method.

lornamcinnes's picture

Best white sauce I've ever made. I used an electric hand whisk, which worked brilliantly. I served this as a main dish, adding sliced carrots and courgette (and cooking the cauliflower for 10 mins as others suggested). Dished up with minted new potatoes it all went down very well. I used more cheese than the recipe says, but it perhaps depends on how strong your cheddar is. The breadcrumbs/grated cheese topping made it extra delicious. I'll be making this again.

J.D.Coychurch's picture

I have made this several times now and it allways gets a " thumbs up" from the wife
I tend to boil the cauliflower for 8mins and add a little extra salt, also I add a little Blue stilton
We like it with baked gammon and baby new potatoes

CookDoc's picture

Maybe a bit excessive on the amount of sauce. But better to have too much than not enough - and if like me - you don't use it all - you can freeze it. It came out really well though, thank you.

spamcollie's picture

I have used this recipe twice now and really like it! I like that it is extra saucy. I add in extra cheese and salt to make sure it is extra tasty but overall it is the perfect accompaniment to my Lamb roast. Boyfriend loves it and he doesn't even like cauliflower!! Breadcrumbs are a nice addition. ENJOY!

Sylviemc's picture

So much sauce, use 2 cauliflowers not one

shauneen's picture

Love this recipe. I usually add a bit of mustard and nutmeg. I also use it without the cheese as my béchamel for lasagne.

jburton's picture

Made this many times now and its lovely. I don't boil my cauli i break up the florets and put them in the microwave with about a tablespoon of water cover with cling film and cook on highh for 4 mins in a single layer, so it may need to be done in two lots . I find this way it doesn't clog up with water, I use a very strong cheese often adding stilton as-well, 1 tsp of dry english mustard and I use 5 tablespoons of flour instead of the stated 4. Gorgeous.

LittlePipper's picture

Love it just cooked it this afternoon for our roast was so tasty!!

PAClarke's picture

This recipe is now a weekly favourite in our house! Simple, tasty and economical. Our nine month old daughter loves it, eating alternately from a floret in each hand!

shantal's picture

I made this for my grandma's card-playing group and it went down a storm! So easy and quick to make, and really delicious! Re the white sauce, I used a mixture of cheddar and stilton and added wholegrain mustard for extra seasoning. Would thoroughly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a simple, yet impressive, dish!

shantal's picture

I made this for my grandma's card-playing group and it went down a storm! So easy and quick to make! I used a mixture of cheddar and stilton, and added some wholegrain mustard for extra seasoning! Would thoroughly recommend this for anyone looking for a simple yet impressive dish! :D

Chinky42's picture

So easy to make & tastes delicious ....I added a tablespoon of English mustard & sprinkled chilli flakes at the end. I cooked the cauliflower for longer as recommended by others on her ( 10 mins) could not believe how easy the sauce was to make. Will now be a firm favourite in our household with gammon steaks & new potato's


Questions (7)

TallyJane1983's picture

Hello, would I be able to cook this using frozen cauliflower? Thanks

frank4004's picture

Sometimes when I make the sauce, instead of being creamy, the liquid seems to separate into tiny solid bits and a watery liquid. Is there some method to stop this from happening?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi frank4004, thanks for your question and sorry to hear that you have not had success with this recipe. It could be that the cauliflower has retained some water from the initial cooking which could cause the sauce to split. To avoid this, make sure the cauliflower is very well drained after boiling - try leaving it in the collander for at least 5 or 10 mins so that any water can steam off. Hope this helps, let us know how you get on. 

stevekburton's picture

can this sauce be frozen once made if not how long will it keep in the fridge as I've got lots left

goodfoodteam's picture

hi stevekburton, thanks for your question. The sauce should be fine in the fridge for up to a week or store in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

KVG's picture

Could you prepare this the day before? If so what is the best stage to get to?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi KVG thanks for your question. Shoud be absolutely fine to prepare this a day ahead. Best thing to do is to prepare this up to the end of step 2 then cover with cling film and store in the fridge for baking the following day. Hope this helps. 

Tips (2)

lindadebruijn's picture

Good recipe. But I add mustard to the sauce and more cheese for better taste! Some black pepper and pinch of salt is needed too.

wishicouldcook's picture

I make my cheese sauce by putting all the sauce ingredients in the pan at once, using a strong cheese and stirring over a low heat, I find it saves a lot of fiddling about with mixing flour with butter and then adding milk which always seemed to burn. For me the 'all in one method' is much easier.