Easy Cauliflower With Cheese Sauce

Easy cauliflower with cheese sauce

The Spruce

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
291 Calories
18g Fat
19g Carbs
13g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 291
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 599mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 13g
Calcium 354mg 27%
*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.)

A rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce transforms plain steamed cauliflower into an irresistible side dish.

​This is really a very quick recipe to prepare, and it is one of my favorite side dishes. Have all ingredients measured and ready, and the dish should be ready to serve in less than 10 minutes.

Feel free to double the sauce ingredients.


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 level tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk (or half-and-half)
  • 1 cup/4 ounces cheddar cheese (or a cheddar Jack blend, shredded)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cauliflower with cheese sauce
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  2. Separate the cauliflower into small florets.

    Cauliflower florets
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  3. Put the florets in a steaming basket over about 1/2-inch of simmering water.

    Hand placing cauliflower florets into steaming basket
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  4. Cover and let the cauliflower steam for about 5 to 8 minutes, until crisp-tender or tender, depending on how you like it. 

    Cauliflower florets in steaming basket
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  5. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

    Butter melting in a saucepan
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  6. Add the flour, ground mustard, and nutmeg and cook, whisking or stirring constantly, for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. 

    Butter, flour, ground mustard, and nutmeg cooking in saucepan
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  7. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup of the milk or half-and-half and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened. 

    Whisking and adding milk to sauce in saucepan
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  8. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue cooking, stirring, until the cheese has melted.

    Adding shredded cheese to sauce in saucepan
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  9. Thin the sauce with a tablespoon or two of milk, if desired, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. (Makes 1 1/4 cups of sauce.)

    Cheese sauce in saucepan
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  10. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish and spoon the sauce over it or serve the cauliflower and pass the sauce separately.

    Cauliflower florets and cheese sauce in a serving dish
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  11. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Add some spinach to the dish for additional color.
  • Garnish with paprika or chopped fresh parsley.