I’ve really been loving cauliflower lately. When I saw it was on sale last week at my local grocery store, I was all over that! I debated making a batch of my favorite cheesy cauliflower soup, but knew I should crawl out of my comfort zone and come up with something new. I decided on a cheesy cauliflower bake. I wanted it to be super cheesy and creamy in the center with a crispy panko topping. That is exactly what I got; it was perfect!
After browsing quite a few recipes for inspiration (on pinterest, of course), I settled on a recipe to use as a template for my delicious creation. I started with this cheesy cauliflower bake recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe, added onions, changed out the topping, and made a few other adjustments.
I like to use sharper cheeses for dishes like this or homemade mac and cheese; I absolutely love that sharp taste when the cheese is melted. I used a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella (about 1 1/2 c cheddar and 1/2 c mozzarella), because it was what I had in my fridge, but of course, you could use any cheese you like. I wanted to cut some calories so I stuck with 1% milk for this dish. You can substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth as Mel did) for the milk, and it might turn out thicker/creamier. Don’t get me wrong, this cauliflower bake was creamy; but it wasn’t terribly thick. Overall, I’m super happy with this side dish and will definitely make it again! It will be perfect for family get-togethers over the holidays or an easy potluck dish!
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk, slightly warm
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used sharp cheddar + mozzarella)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook until golden and fragrant.
- Slowly whisk in the milk. Add cauliflower, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and all of the grated parmesan.
- Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes until topping is golden brown.
You may substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth) for the milk to make it thicker.