Easy Cauliflower With Cheese Sauce

cauliflower with spinach
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 16 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: Makes 4 to 6 Servings
Ratings (27)

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.

What You'll Need

  • 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
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make It

  1.  Separate the cauliflower into small florets and put in a steaming basket over about 1/2 inch of simmering water. Cover and let the cauliflower steam for about 5 to 8 minutes, until crisp-tender or tender, depending on how you like it. 
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, ground mustard, and nutmeg and cook, whisking or stirring constantly, for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. 
  1. Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup of the milk or half-and-half and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened. 
  2. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue cooking, stirring, until the cheese has melted.
  3. Thin the sauce with a tablespoon or two of milk, if desired. 
  4. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  5. Makes 1 1/4 cups of sauce.
  6. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish and spoon the sauce over it or serve the cauliflower and pass the sauce separately.


  • Add some spinach to the dish for additional color (pictured).
  • Garnish with paprika or chopped fresh parsley.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
291 Calories
18g Fat
19g Carbs
13g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)