Cauliflower Cheese With Leeks

Cauliflower cheese with leeks
Elaine Lemm
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 3 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
183 Calories
11g Fat
16g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 183
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 169mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 36mg 181%
Calcium 165mg 13%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 288mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cauliflower cheese is an all-time favorite dish for Brits. Along with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese is considered a quintessentially British food. In this recipe, the addition of some cooked leeks adds extra flavor and nutrition.

Not only is it a great way to eat cauliflower, but it can either be a side dish with a roast or an excellent vegetarian main course, served with a baked potato and a crispy salad.


  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 1 pound

  • 1/4 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 2 large leeks, cleaned, washed, and finely sliced

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 395 F.

  3. Remove the green outer leaves and the thick white stalk from the cauliflower, taking care not to break off the florets. Cut a deep cross in the bottom of the stem then steam whole over a pan of boiling water until slightly tender but not cooked. The cauliflower florets should still be firm.

  4. Remove the cauliflower from the heat and leave to cool.

  5. Place the butter into a large saucepan and melt over medium heat. Lower the heat then add the finely chopped leeks. Cook until the leeks are softening slightly but not cooked thoroughly. Remove 1 tablespoon of the leeks and keep to one side.

  6. Add the flour to the remaining leeks in the pan and stir thoroughly. The flour will go lumpy; continue to stir for 2 to 3 mins.

  7. Add the salt and stir again.

  8. Turn the heat up to medium and add the milk all at once. Stir briskly until a smooth sauce is formed. Continue stirring until the sauce is thick and glossy (about 5 minutes) If the sauce is very thick, add a little more milk; the sauce should be thick but still a little on the runny side.

  9. Finally, add the grated cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.

  10. Break the cauliflower florets away from the central stalk, taking care not to break them into tiny pieces. Place these florets in a greased baking dish large enough to hold them all in just one layer.

  11. Pour the thickened cheese and leek sauce over the cauliflower, ensuring all the florets are covered. Finally, sprinkle the extra grated cheese, scatter the tablespoon of softened leeks, and end with a good twist of black pepper.

  12. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and golden brown on the top, approximately 20 minutes. Test the cauliflower is cooked through by piercing with a sharp pointed knife. Cook a little longer if necessary.