Cauliflower cheese

Cauliflower cheese

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In the video above, I show how to make a classic British dish that most people relegate to the sides, but trust me, it’s delicious enough to be the main course! 

Ditch the boring boiled cauliflower! Roast it for superior flavor, then smother it in a luxuriously cheesy sauce made with my favorite combo of Red Leicester and Gruyere (although any melty cheese will do!). See the post for all the details on this flavor bomb. 




  • 1kg / 2 lb cauliflower florets (1 very large, 1 1/2 medium or 2 small cauliflower heads, Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  • 60g / 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3½ tbsp flour , plain / all-purpose
  • 1 cup milk (full fat best)
  • 1 cup cream (or more milk)
  • 1/2 tsp cooking salt (kosher salt)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (freshly grated is best)
  • 1 cup Red Leicester cheese (or cheddar), grated (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup gruyère cheese , grated (or other melting cheese of choice, Note 2)


  • 1/2 cup Red Leicester cheese (or cheddar), grated (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup gruyère cheese , grated (or other melting cheese of choice, Note 2)”


Roasted coulflower 

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F) or 200°C for a fan oven.
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets with oil, salt, and pepper, then spread them out on a large baking tray.
  3. roast for 20 minutes without turning, until the cauliflower is slightly firm and browned, then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F. 


  1. Heat milk:Heat the milk and cream until hot, on the stove or in the microwave.
  2. Make roux:Melt butter in a large saucepan or small pot over medium heat, then whisk in flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add milk:Gradually whisk in half the milk while stirring constantly, then let the roux thicken before whisking in the remaining milk.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon.
  4. Add cheese:With the heat off, remove the pot from the stovetop momentarily, then stir in salt, nutmeg, and both cheeses. As the cheese melts, it will thicken the mixture to a creamy sauce consistency.
  5. mix in cauliflower:Gently fold in the cauliflower florets to coat them evenly in the creamy cheese sauce. 


  1. Fill baking dish:Pour the mixture into a 2L / 2qt baking dish (approximately 30 x 20 x 5cm / 12 x 8 x 2″).
  2. Top with cheese:Top with a sprinkle of Gruyère cheese, followed by Red Leicester cheese.
  3. Bake at 180°C/350°F for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted, and cauliflower is bubbly and golden.
  4. Serve:For a final touch, sprinkle with fresh parsley (optional) and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving!


  1. Culflower:Choose a large cauliflower, around 1.25kg/1.5lb, to yield 1kg/2lb of florets. Pro tip: Check out this guide for cutting cauliflower with minimal mess! (link can be added after “guide”)
  2. cheese:For the best flavor and smooth sauce texture, grate your own cheese instead of using pre-shredded varieties that contain anti-caking agents. If using cups for measurement, tightly pack the grated cheese into the cup to ensure accurate portions.
  3. Red Leicester cheese, a sharp orange English cheddar with excellent flavor and color, can be substituted with your favorite cheddar (virtually the same in the US), Swiss cheese, Jarlsberg, Colby, or another melty cheese. For Australian cooks, skip the Tasty cheese as it won’t melt well in this sauce.
  4. Gruyère, a prized Swiss cheese boasting a nutty flavor and exceptional melting, can be replaced by any of the previously mentioned options or other Alpine cheeses like Emmental or Comté.
  5. storage:Enjoy leftovers within 3-4 days in the fridge; freezing is not recommended.
  6. make ahead:Once cooked, let the cauliflower cool completely, then toss it in the sauce and store in a container. To reheat, warm the mixture slightly to coat the cauliflower again, transfer it to a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake following the recipe instructions.