Kalyn's Kitchen

Cauliflower Gratin (Video)

This delicious Cauliflower Gratin uses sharp cheddar and Parmesan, and this is a perfect low-carb side dish for a special meal! 

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Cauliflower Gratin finished dish after baking

This Cauliflower Gratin that uses sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheese is a recipe that has quite a few fans and it’s low-carb, delicious, cheesy, comforting, and also ridiculously easy to make. There’s something so perfect about the combination of cauliflower + cheese; wouldn’t you agree?

This recipe is a close cousin to the Broccoli Gratin that’s also one of my favorites (and something I’ve made over and over for Thanksgiving.)  Both of them are great as a cheesy side dish, but recently I ate the cauliflower for a low-carb main dish (kind of a mac-n-cheese wanna-be) and thoroughly enjoyed it as a meatless meal with a green salad on the side.

What is a Gratin?

The word Gratin refers to any dish that’s topped with cheese (and sometimes butter and breadcrumbs) and then cooked in the oven or under a broiler until the top is well-browned and slightly crisp.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • cauliflower
  • finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • mayo
  • sour cream
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard (affiliate link)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • finely grated Parmesan cheese

More Gratin Recipes to Savor:

If you like cheesy vegetable gratins you might also like Delicata Squash and Sausage Gratin, Ham and Broccoli Casserole au Gratin, Sweet Potato Gratin, Easy Brussels Sprouts Gratin, or Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan process shots collage

How to Make Cauliflower Gratin:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Cut a medium-sized head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces; then cook the cauliflower in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  2. While cauliflower is cooking, mix together finely grated sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and pepper.
  3. When cauliflower has cooked ten minutes, drain well in a colander placed in the sink.
  4. After cauliflower drains well, place in baking dish that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray or a little olive oil.
  5. Use a rubber scraper to spread the cheese mixture over the cauliflower.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake 25-30 minutes, or until cauliflower is bubbly and lightly browned on top.
  7. Yum! I’d love this for a meatless dinner or a cheesy side dish!

Low-Carb Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan close-up photo

More Cauliflower with Cheese:

Twice-Baked Cauliflower ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Mini Cauliflower Boursin Souffles ~ Noble Pig
Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spinach Artichoke Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks ~ Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Tots ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Low-Carb Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan close-up photo

Cauliflower Gratin

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Low-carb Cauliflower Gratin uses sharp cheddar and Parmesan can be a tasty side dish or a nice stand-in for Mac-n-Cheese.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 T mayo
  • 4 T sour cream
  • 1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 T finely grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces. (To avoid the little broken pieces of cauliflower all over the cutting board, cut through cauliflower stem, then pull apart the flower end.)
  3. Put cauliflower in a small pot, add water to cover by a few inches, then bring to boil and cook 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is just starting to get tender.
  4. Drain cauliflower into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain very well.
  5. While cauliflower cooks, stir together mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. Stir in finely grated sharp cheddar.
  6. Spray a large glass or crockery baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray, then pour the well-drained cauliflower into the dish and spread out evenly.
  7. Use a rubber scraper to spread gratin mixture over the top of the cauliflower. (This is not a sauce that completely covers the cauliflower, more like a topping.)
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until cauliflower is bubbling and lightly browned.
  9. Serve hot.


Recipe adapted from Broccoli Gratin recipe in A Pinch of Salt Lake (affiliate link).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan thumbnail photo

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe would be great for low-carb eating plans. It could be suitable for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, but it would be recommended to use low-fat sharp cheddar, low-fat mayo, and low-fat sour cream if you’re making this for South Beach.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2009. It has been popular ever since and was last updated with more information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Cauliflower Gratin

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    54 Comments on “Cauliflower Gratin (Video)”

  1. This looks and sounds delicious! Going to make for Christmas Eve dinner. Was wondering if it could be made ahead of time?

    • Yes, I think you can make it ahead and then cook when you need it. I would let it come to room temperature before baking.

  2. Thanks again Kalyn for this amazing recipe, you never let us down!

  3. Delicious!  Ate it with steak on the grill tonight!

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it so many times for myself and friends & potlucks, and it’s always a big hit!

  5. I have made this several times and it has been a favorite of family and friends. Easy and very good.
    5 stars!

  6. Hi! Just letting you know I have featured this recipe in my post roundup of 14 delicious low carb recipes using cauliflower! https://jenniferbanz.com/14-delicious-low-carb-recipes-using-cauliflower