Make a Cauliflower Cheese Side Dish

Cauliflower Cheese Recipe
The Spruce
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
193 Calories
12g Fat
14g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 193
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 33mg 167%
Calcium 176mg 14%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 238mg 5%
*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 essential side dish for Sunday lunch, a delicious filling for a baked potato, and sometimes, even encased in pastry as a pasty or quiche. This creamy, cauliflower cheese is easy to make and is a versatile dish that appears throughout British food in various guises.

Cauliflower cheese makes the most of great British cauliflowers, which are not only cheap and nutritious but are so versatile in recipes and can be steamed, boiled, baked, and roasted, with each method creating its own ​flavors.


  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 1 pound (450 grams)

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 ounces (55 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder, optional

  • 1 pinch salt, to taste

  • 2 cups (460 milliliters) milk

  • 2 ounces (55 grams) grated cheddar cheese, or similar cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top)

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cauliflower Cheese Recipe Ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 395 F/200 C/Gas 7.

  3. Remove the green outer leaves from the cauliflower, cut a deep cross in the bottom of the stem, and steam whole over a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes.

    Steaming cauliflower
    The Spruce 
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the heat and leave to cool. The cauliflower should not be cooked thoroughly, just lightly steamed so it is beginning to soften.

    Steaming cauliflower
     The Spruce
  5. Place the butter and flour into a large saucepan.

    Butter and flour in a saucepan
     The Spruce
  6. Over a low heat stir the butter and flour until the butter has melted and the flour is incorporated.

     The Spruce
  7. Add the salt and mustard powder (if using) and continue stirring for 2 minutes. (This is to cook out the floury taste and to soften the starch grains in the flour ready to make the sauce.)

     The Spruce
  8. Turn the heat up to medium and add the milk in one go.

    Roux with milk
    The Spruce
  9. Whisk furiously until a smooth sauce is formed. Continue stirring until the sauce is thickened 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.

    Cauliflower Cheese
    The Spruce 
  10. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.

    Cauliflower Cheese
    The Spruce 
  11. Break the cauliflower florets from the thick, central stalk, taking care not to break into tiny pieces. Place the florets in a greased baking dish large enough to hold all the florets in one layer.

     The Spruce
  12. Pour the thickened cheese sauce over the cauliflower, ensuring all the florets are covered.

    Cauliflower Cheese
    The Spruce 
  13. Sprinkle with grated cheese and a good twist of black pepper.

    Cauliflower Cheese
     The Spruce
  14. Bake in the hot oven until the sauce is bubbling and golden brown on the top, approximately 30 minutes.

    Cauliflower Cheese
    The Spruce 
  15. Enjoy on its own or as a side.


  • While cauliflower can be grown, harvested, and sold year-round, it's best in the fall, winter, and early spring. Look for white or cream-colored heads that feel heavy for their size. The deeply ribbed green leaves that envelope a head of cauliflower should look fresh, not wilted or yellowing or dry.