Side View of Cauliflower Cheese In Red Dish

Cauliflower Cheese

Cauliflower served in a creamy cheese sauce and baked until crispy on top. Can be enjoyed as a main dish, for lunch or dinner, or served as an accompaniment to a range of meals. 

Course Main Meal
Cuisine British
Keyword Cauliflower Cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 401 kcal
Author Amy


  • 1 Large Cauliflower
  • 55g (1/2 stick) Butter
  • 36g (4 tbsp) Plain (all purpose) Flour
  • 500ml (2 cups) Milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 115g (1 cup) Strong Mature Cheddar (grated) * SEE NOTE 1
  • 25g (1/2 cup) Panko Breadcrumbs * SEE NOTE 2


  1. Remove the base and outer leaves from the cauliflower, break into florets and wash. 

  2. Place the florets into a pan of boiling water and boil for approx 5 mins, until tender. (*SEE NOTE 3)

  3. Drain the cauliflower in a colander and set aside. 

  4. Meanwhile, make your sauce.

    Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour to form a roux, stir continuously for about 2 minutes.

  5. Add milk a little at a time, keep stirring/whisking continuously between each pour. Stir out any lumps before adding more milk. Continue adding the milk little by little until all the milk is incorporated and the sauce is thick and glossy.

  6. Take off the heat and stir in the mustard and three-quarters of the cheese (reserving the rest for the topping.)

  7. Place the cauliflower florets in a baking dish that is just large enough to hold the florets in one layer.

  8. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and gently mix to ensure all the florets are covered

  9. Cover with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Pop under a hot grill (broiler) until the top is browned and bubbly. (*SEE NOTE 4 for heating instructions if making ahead of time)

Recipe Notes

  1. I always use a mature cheddar to make a cheese sauce. I find it produces the best flavour. Any good melting cheese (e.g Colby, Tasty, Montery Jack) will also work but may not produce the same flavour.  Seek out the most mature versions so that you don’t have to add so much to get the desired flavour.
  2. Breadcrumbs are optional, they give a lovely crispy topping and makes the dish look visually more appealing. 
  3. Test the cauliflower with a knife. The knife should go in easily but the cauliflower should cleave to the knife and not fall apart. 
  4.  If you are making this dish ahead of time, to serve later in the day.  Cover the dish and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (do not add the breadcrumbs and cheese for top at this stage). Preheat oven to 180C / 355F.  Cover the top with the cheese and breadcrumbs just before baking and bake for approx 30 minutes. The top should be brown and bubbling and piping hot in the centre.
  5. If cooking for a baby/ young toddler you can reduce the amount of cheese you add, to lower the sodium levels. 

Nutritional Information is a ROUGH guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator. 

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 401 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 453mg 19%
Potassium 842mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 10g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 16.7%
Vitamin C 122.7%
Calcium 41%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.