Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger

Cauliflower cheese is a comforting side dish of cooked cauliflower in a white Parmesan cheese sauce that gets an added zing from English mustard powder. It is then transferred to the broiler until bubbly and brown.

This dish is like comforting mac and cheese, but it’s better for you because there’s vegetables, right? It’s creamy, cheesy and the Parmesan cheese makes it deliciously nutty.

The topping, which is extra cheese, is the best part of the dish when it’s browned and bubbly and develops a fabulous crust.

Cauliflower Cheese Photo

The dish starts with a simple béchamel sauce. Butter is melted and mixed with flour, then warm milk is whisked in along with mustard powder and grated Parmesan cheese.

This silky and delicious sauce and worth licking the spoon for. Cooked cauliflower florets are mixed in; more Parmesan is sprinkled on top and the dish is broiled to golden cheese perfection.

Cauliflower Cheese Picture

This is a classic and easy British side dish that dates to the 1800s. Isabella Beeton was a cookbook writer from the Victorian era and her book, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, was her biggest success, published in 1861.

Cauliflower Cheese Image

The book was filled with information on running a Victorian household like etiquette, childcare, entertaining, the management of servants and recipes. It was Mrs Beeton’s How to Cook book that first featured this cauliflower cheese recipe.

Cauliflower Cheese Pic

Interestingly, she used Parmesan instead of English cheddar cheese. That is quite un-British of her, but it is not lacking in flavor because anything with Parmesan cheese is perfect in my book.

File 1 Cauliflower Cheese

You’re probably looking at this dish and thinking, “What makes this so British?” And you’re right. There’s nothing decidedly British about this dish at all, this looks like a dish served on every dinner table in the Western world.

File 2 Cauliflower Cheese

Well, for the Brits, it’s all about the history and since it’s been around for almost 200 years we’ve claimed it as our own.

File 3 Cauliflower Cheese

This dish is not only popular served alongside a roast meat and potatoes Sunday dinner; it is now popular as packaged baby food in a pureed form. This does go to show we do love our cauliflower cheese, from young to old!

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Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds Cauliflower, florets
  • 1 tablespoon Salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk, hot
  • 3 1/2 ounces Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper


  1. Add 3 quarts (12 cups) water to a boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling add 1 tablespoon salt and cauliflower.
  2. Cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat broiler.
  4. To a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the flour until well mixed. Cook for 1 minute, whisking.
  5. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Continue to whisk until thickened and there are no lumps.
  6. Stir in 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the cauliflower until well coated.
  8. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
  9. Broil for 4-5 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly.


Cooking Method:
Side Dishes
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Related Recipes:
British Recipes, Side Dish Recipes, Boiled Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, Cauliflower Recipes, Cheese Recipes, Easy Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 165
Calories 336

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g
  Saturated Fat 13g
Sodium 2243mg
Total Carbohydrate 18g
  Dietary Fiber 4g
  Sugars 10g
Protein 15g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!

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