Cauliflower cheese in large dish with spoon

Cauliflower cheese

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(128 ratings)

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 1 large cauliflower, broken into pieces, and cook for 5 mins – lift out a piece to test, it should be cooked.

  2. Drain the cauliflower, then tip into an ovenproof dish. Heat oven to 220C/200C/gas 7.

  3. Put the saucepan back on the heat and add 500ml milk, 4 tbsp flour and 50g butter.

  4. 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.

  5. Turn off the heat, stir in most of the 100g grated cheddar cheese and pour over the cauliflower. Scatter over the remaining cheese, and 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs if using.

  6. Put in the oven and bake for 20 mins until bubbling.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Mar, 2018
Lovely cauliflower cheese recipe. Replaced bread with crushed cheese and onion crisps.. yum!
25th Feb, 2018
Love this cauliflower cheese! I always add garlic, Dijon mustard and a little bit of black pepper too! Amazing!
11th Dec, 2017
Made this yesterday, wow, I don’t like cauliflower cheese but this was amazing with a roast. I added garlic purée and more cheese I steamed the cauliflower and a few Brussels til just staring to soften. Definitely making for Xmas, will make a day ahead and reheat. Mmmm
jadedermody's picture
28th May, 2017
A great dish I added left over fish and had as a Sunday afternoon lunch. But will defo try the added garlic, mustard, bacon and spring onion option next time
23rd Apr, 2017
What a supremely straightforward & simple way to make a truly splendid white sauce. So uncomplicated. Just add cheese and voilà! Saves so much time compared to the usual roux method.
28th Mar, 2017
Great recipe, what a way to make white sauce! Added mustard and garlic following comments from below. Also brilliant substituting strong blue cheese for three quarters of the cheddar.
ThatManAgain's picture
10th Mar, 2017
I got to point two in the method thinking I was a master chef and how my family would be blinded by my culinary jedi cooking skills when I read that a chicken had to come out of the oven. I went back to bed.
ThomLeigh's picture
8th Feb, 2017
it ain't easy being cheesy
19th Sep, 2016
Delicious, like others I add a bit of mustard and garlic to the sauce. Become a firm favourite.
21st Jul, 2016
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


19th Feb, 2015
Hello, would I be able to cook this using frozen cauliflower? Thanks
8th Jan, 2015
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
16th Jan, 2015
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. 
7th Jan, 2015
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
16th Jan, 2015
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. 
16th Oct, 2013
Could you prepare this the day before? If so what is the best stage to get to?
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Jan, 2015
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. 
4th Nov, 2013
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.
16th Oct, 2013
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.