Cauliflower cheese in large dish with spoon

Cauliflower cheese

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(204 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…

  • 4 tbsp flour



    Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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9th Feb, 2020
I've made this a couple of times now, added 1 tsp of English mustard to the sauce, also on the topping of breadcrumbs and cheese i added a few Penko breadcrumbs to give it an extra crunch.
npnp's picture
26th Jan, 2020
So easy and so few ingredients, this is my cup of tea. Great high fibre meal, though I doubled the cheese (maybe over did it) and served this as a main meal with bacon on the side for the non vegetarians. I was worried about the cauliflower going too soft so i cooked it less and it was Very Al dente which worked fine for all. ideal in fact
atcooking's picture
26th Jan, 2020
Simple and tasty. I made the leftovers into a soup by adding veg stock and liquidising.
Tahseen Yasin's picture
Tahseen Yasin
25th Jan, 2020
Tried this and it was simple to make and very tasty
29th Nov, 2019
I was craving some comfort food and saw this recipe. I hadn’t had cauliflower cheese since I was a kid so thought I’d make this along with a roast chicken. It was absolutely delicious and brought back memories of helping my mum cook this. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you!!
Lesley Hughes's picture
Lesley Hughes
15th Oct, 2019
Best ever cauliflower cheese. The sauce is to die for, though I, like another commentator, do add much more cheese and a tbs. dijon.
lukeetucker's picture
18th Sep, 2019
Easy recipe to follow, reliable and good, and perfect results everytime
31st Aug, 2019
Cooked this many times Reliably good every time.
22nd Jun, 2019
Made this many times and always perfect. Simplest cheese sauce, although I do double the amount of cheese. Neighbours came round for Sunday lunch and looked horrified as they don't eat cauliflower cheese. None left by the time the went home!!! Can make a day ahead before baking. Also freezes well
Adrian Morgan's picture
Adrian Morgan
9th May, 2019
Absolutely stunning recipe. Made it three times now, and it is so easy to follow. The cheese sauce recipe - without the cauliflower, and reduced in size - is good with fish too.


17th Nov, 2019
Lovely dish. Wondering if I can make it in advance, refrigerate overnight, and then heat up (how long?) the next day?
Esme Brown's picture
Esme Brown
21st Dec, 2018
If I froze this would I defrost it before baking? Or cook from frozen? And for how long please? Many thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest freezing after step 5, defrosting fully then cooking for 25 or until golden and bubbling.
Kay Williams's picture
Kay Williams
28th Nov, 2018
Can this be stored in the freezer ? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can freeze this dish.
Kay Williams's picture
Kay Williams
28th Nov, 2018
Thank you
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


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.
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