Cauliflower cheese in large dish with spoon

Cauliflower cheese

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(243 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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7th Jun, 2020
I always use this recipe for cauli cheese. never had a problem with it separating when being cooked. I always add a teaspoon of English mustard - it makes all the difference.
30th Apr, 2020
Love this recipe, its the one i always use, family favourite
Hayley Wheeldon's picture
Hayley Wheeldon
24th Apr, 2020
I made this for the first time yesterday, it’s so easy to make and so tasty too! Only change I added was I threw the whole 100g cheese into the mixture and I grated another 100g for on the top - I love cheese!! Served with roast potatoes, carrots & green beans, definitely a new family favourite!
Anna Davison-Smith's picture
Anna Davison-Smith
16th Apr, 2020
Amazing recipe that works every time. Perfect portion size for 6 people. I used bread flour due to the current shortage of plain flour and it was even better. I also add a generous teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the sauce. You can’t taste it (my husband hates mustard) but it makes the sauce even cheesier.
saiyanjo's picture
11th Apr, 2020
Delicious and very easy. I mixed the cheddar with some smoked applewood cheese too added a pinch of nutmeg and mustard to the sauce. Served with some garlic kale, good job my boyfriend and I are social distancing!
skerries's picture
3rd Apr, 2020
This is my go to cauli cheese recipe. It is so easy and has never gone wrong. Its also very tasty!
Roger Jolly's picture
Roger Jolly
1st Mar, 2020
Mostly this ok, but if you 'bake' it for 20 minutes you may very well separate the cheese sauce and end up with a watery mess. The Cauliflower is already cooked and should still be hot, and so is the cheese sauce when you assemble it. After topping with breadcrumbs and cheese put it under a hot grill to toast the top. You don’t need to bake it.
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.


28th Mar, 2020
I have made this recipe many times and love it. Can you use the sauce for lasagne?
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
3rd Apr, 2020
Hi, you can use this sauce without the cheese added to it for lasagne.
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?


curtis dance's picture
curtis dance
21st May, 2020
Personally I add some more butter and cheese and a little wholegrain mustard, touch of garlic and black pepper, top with some more cheese before the oven
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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