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Kalyn's Kitchen

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan (Video)

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan can be a nice stand-in for Mac-n-Cheese and this cheesy cauliflower dish is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use Cauliflower Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan!

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com

This Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan was first posted in 2009, and it’s a recipe that has quite a few fans so recently I decided the photos really must have a makeover. And when I made this tasty Cauliflower Gratin to take the new pictures, it was just as delicious as I had remembered, cheesy and comforting. 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 with Swiss and Parmesan 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 this time 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.

If you’re looking for a Meatless Monday idea for next week, I bet this would be a hit with most people, and I’d guess that even people who aren’t huge cauliflower fans might like this if they like cheese. (You can find more Meatless Monday Recipes with the new recipes-by-photo index.

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com

Cut a medium-sized head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces; then cook in boiling water for 10 minutes and let drain well in a colander in the sink. After cauliflower drains well, place in baking dish that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray or a little olive oil.

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com

While cauliflower is cooking, mix together finely grated sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and pepper.  Use a rubber scraper to spread the cheese mixture over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake 25-30 minutes, or until cauliflower is bubbly and lightly browned on top.

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com

Yum! I’d love this for a meatless dinner or a cheesy side dish!

More Cauliflower Paired 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 new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan

Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan can be a nice stand-in for Mac-n-Cheese.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese (I have made with with low-fat and regular sharp cheddar and both were fine)
  • 4 T mayo or light mayo (but not fat free)
  • 4 T sour cream or light sour cream (but not fat free)
  • 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. Drain into a colander placed in the sink.
  4. While cauliflower cooks, stir together mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. Stir in finely grated sharp cheddar.
  5. 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. 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.)
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until cauliflower is bubbling and lightly browned.
  7. Serve hot.


Recipe adapted from Broccoli Gratin recipe in A Pinch of Salt Lake.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe would be suitable for most low-carb eating plans, and could be suitable for any phase of the 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 the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more 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.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com

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51 comments on “Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan (Video)”

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

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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

  5. I made this yesterday as I had some cauliflower I wanted to use up. You can substitute good greek yogurt (I used fage), I didn't have any sour cream on hand but I did add real mayo. It came out so good, cannot wait to try with sour cream.

  6. Sue, you could try it, but I honestly don't know how that would work. I think the melting aspect of Greek yogurt is a little different and I wonder if it will be watery here. But let me know how it works if you try it!

  7. Do you think I could substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream and mayo?

  8. Superb! I love gratin. I made a cauliflower gratin just last week when we had friends over!

  9. City Girl, glad you like it!

  10. So glad I found this recipe! I was in search of one that didn't require flour and this one is perfect.

  11. Oh good, so glad it even was a hit with the picky eater!

  12. This dish was delicious! It was a big hit in our house and we have one picky eater. Thanks Kalyn!

  13. Cathie, glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  14. Made this the other day and very happy with it. I didn't have any cheddar, so make it with a three cheese mixture. This one's a keeper.

  15. Ashlyn, how great! I love it that my recipe inspired you to create a variation.

  16. I made this recipe tonight out of hopes to find something different to eat, as my veggie likes are limited. I am still on phase one of the SBD and have become bored with some of my options. I made a combo cauliflower broccoli chicken chunk bake. I was missing some of the ingredients so I used a dab of sugar free soy milk instead of sour cream and didn't have dijon so I used a dash of montreal chicken seasoning and a dash of olive oil and it was divine!!! Even the kids LOVED it!!! I know mine was a bit diff but it was inspired by your recipe. Thanks for the great ideas, choices…HOW WONDERFUL!!!

  17. My sweet husband just brought me two lovely heads of cauliflower from our garden. I am so happy to find this recipe. We love your twice baked cauliflower and enjoy it on special occasions. Thanks so much.

  18. I had this tonight. My goodness it was really good. I’m still stuffed!

  19. What a tasty sounding gratin with the cheese, mayo and mustard!

  20. I have a real thing for macaroni and cheese. I might be some kind of addict, actually. This looks like it would sub nicely without all the carbs/calories. Thank you! I am so making this!

  21. It’s a real coincidence, but I was wondering what to do with the cauliflower that’s about to die in my fridge. This looks lovely.

  22. Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. I just bought some cauliflower so I can make this again!

  23. Looks like a great recipe Kalyn, and I’m sure I’d enjoy it because I love both cauliflower and cheese!

  24. Nothing goes better with cauliflower (or broccoli for that matter!) than cheese, cheese, cheese.

  25. This looks delicious Kalyn! i love cauliflower and cheese mmm

  26. Great way to get some cauliflower in us!

  27. This sounds really good to me, I just wish I could convince hubs to eat cauliflower. Maybe I’ll make a have recipe just for me! 🙂

  28. Kalyn, I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. I have a terrible weakness for mac and cheese and I was mourning not having it in my life anymore. You totally have come to my rescue!! I made this last night and my entire family just snarfed it up in utter ecstasy. It is BETTER than mac and cheese. This dish is such a keeper. Again, thanks.

  29. I was just thinking the other day that it had been awhile since I made a gratin. I used to love broccoli gratin.

  30. I love this dish, I made it last week with cheddar & stilton, then on Sunday with just Port Salou & a low fat creme fraiche sauce.
    It makes life so much easier when you can just pop things in the oven & more or less forget about them.;0)

  31. I wish I saw this before I steamed mine tonight. Doh!

    PS – Greetings from Heber

  32. Yes yes yes! I agree gratin goes so well with roasted pork. I love cauliflower too so a great excuse to switch the potatoes to cauliflower 🙂

  33. Some day I’m going to learn to love cauliflower, and when I do, I’m going to make this recipe. I try once every year to find a cauliflower dish that will change my mind about it. Usually melted cheese will do the trick!

  34. I love cauliflower, but Josh hates it. Maybe he would enjoy it if I fixed this dish though. It looks fantastic!

  35. Cauliflower cheese – a great British classic. Ok, I know yours isn’t quite the same but in my eyes this is a classic combination which would remind me of my childhood.

  36. I love cauliflower and this is so easy to make & is a satisfying meal too. Thanks Kalyn.


  37. I’m glad people are liking this, because it’s such an easy way to make this type of dish, so much easier than making an actual sauce. Definitely I think this can be made ahead, refrigerated, and then cooked later. If you have time, I’d take it out of the fridge and let come to room temperature before you bake.

    • Hello Kalyn. it show the calorie count. Is this for the entire dish or per cup and so on. Please let me know. Thanks

      • I’m not able to provide nutritional information for the recipes for several reason, including the additional time it takes, the difficulty in doing it accurately, and the sheer number of recipes on my site. I give two links after the recipe itself (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestion of how to get that information. So that link you are seeing that says Calorie Count is a link for a site where you can enter the recipe and calculate it. Or you can sign up for a membership with Yummly (free) and then you can just click the orange YUM button at the top of the posts and get nutritional information. That’s all I can do at this time. Thanks for understanding.

  38. I am always looking for more ways to use cauliflower as I love the vegetable. Do you think this can be assembled ahead of time and then baked? The ingredients are probably fantastic together. Thanks for the inspiration.

  39. I had a party over the weekend and have LOTS of leftover cauliflower from the crudite. Thanks for this delicious looking way for me to use it up tonight. Have a terrific day, Kalyn.

  40. One of my all time favorite dishes. Looks wonderful.

  41. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! This dish looks fabulous. I love cheesy side dishes served with a lighter main course, and broccoli and cauliflower are two of the vegetables I crave most.

  42. oh yum! i can’t wait to try this! i’ve made cauliflower gratin but never with cheddar. i bet its fabulous!

  43. Such a satisfying cold winter meal. I’ve been eating lots of squash and cabbage lately, but should pick up some cauliflower. Lovely recipe Kalyn!

  44. This dish looks so good! I’ve been wanting to find more options for califlower. I love it, but I always either steam it or use it for dips so, I’ll have to try this. Thanks

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