Cauliflower Cheese

A cast iron skillet with a head of cauliflower covered in a cheesy bechamel sauce sits on a picnic table.

A delightful English side dish, cauliflower cheese is a recipe that showcases cauliflower in a rich cheese sauce cooked to perfection in a skillet. A whole head of cauliflower is covered in a creamy sauce and baked until tender. You can scoop it from the skillet onto your plate as a savory side dish.

Unlike traditional bechamel sauces (cheese sauces) this is a simplified version. It uses cornstarch (cornflour) to thicken rather than a traditional and more cumbersome butter and flour roux.

This is perfect for family-style dining where everyone can serve themselves. Personally, we like one whole cauliflower, but it can also be made with florets from a broken down cauliflower.

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A head of cauliflower covered in melted cheese and bechamel sauce.
A delightful English side dish, cauliflower cheese is a recipe that showcases cauliflower in a rich cheese sauce cooked to perfection in a skillet.
Looking down into a cast iron skillet with a head of cauliflower covered in a cheesy bechamel sauce.
A whole head of cauliflower is covered in a creamy sauce and baked until tender.
A cast iron skillet with a head of cauliflower covered in a cheesy bechamel sauce sits on a picnic table.
This is perfect for family-style dining where everyone can serve themselves.

Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

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A cast iron skillet with a head of cauliflower covered in a cheesy bechamel sauce sits on a picnic table.
A delightful English side dish, Cauliflower Cheese is a recipe that showcases cauliflower in a rich cheese sauce cooked to perfection in a skillet.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Ready in 55 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
CourseSide Dish
InfluenceEuropean
DifficultySeasoned
MethodBake

Ingredients

Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

To Assemble

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon herb rub
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Equipment

  • 8 inch skillet

Directions

Cauliflower

  • Remove the cauliflower leaves and thick inner core being careful not to lose its structure.
  • Place the cauliflower in a pot of boiling water about 1-inch (2 1/2cm) deep. Place on simmer until the cauliflower starts to soften.
  • Remove from the pot and place on a rack and allow to drain.

Bechamel Sauce

  • Place 2 cups of milk in a pot over medium heat and gently heat. Keep an eye on it because when milk boils it froths over in a spectacular and messy fashion.
  • Combine the remaining ½ cup of milk and cornstarch to create a slurry.
  • As the milk comes to a boil add the cornstarch slurry and keep stirring as it thickens creating a white sauce. As it reaches a simmer again add the grated cheese and stir to melt to create a bechamel sauce.

To Assemble

  • On the bottom of the skillet, pour a small amount of the bechamel sauce. In the center place the cauliflower head. Drizzle the remaining bechamel sauce over the top of the cauliflower.
  • Sprinkle evenly in turn with the shredded cheese, breadcrumbs, paprika, herb rub, and parsley.
  • Place in a camp oven, smoker, or closed barbecue until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Nutritional Information

Sodium: 503mgCalcium: 566mgVitamin C: 46mgVitamin A: 822IUSugar: 7gFiber: 2gPotassium: 507mgCholesterol: 69mgCalories: 368kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 13gFat: 23gProtein: 20gCarbohydrates: 21gIron: 1mg

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About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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