Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

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!

Cheesy Cauliflower BakeCheesy Cauliflower Bake

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.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

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!

Cheesy Cauliflower BakeCheesy Cauliflower Bake

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9x13 pan, 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and flour and cook until golden and fragrant.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add cauliflower, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper and stir.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and all of the grated parmesan.
  6. Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake an additional 10 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Notes

You may substitute heavy cream or half and half (or half cream and half stock/broth) for the milk to make it thicker.

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