Keep dinner simple tonight with this quick and easy Cheesy Cauliflower! Blanched cauliflower is mixed with a homemade stovetop cheddar cheese sauce to create the most comforting, low carb, and kid-friendly side dish.
Easy cheesy cauliflower recipe
There’s no arguing that cheese sauce makes everything better. It can be a real life-saver when you’re trying to feed your family vegetables too. Just like my Cheesy Broccoli and Cheesy Brussels Sprouts, this Cheesy Cauliflower side dish will save the day and rescue you from picky eaters!
Cauliflower florets are blanched in boiling water before you take a few minutes to whisk the cheddar cheese sauce together on the stove. Combine the two together and voila! You have a perfectly savory and comforting cheesy side dish that’s so much better than storebought.
Love cauliflower? Check out my favorite 15 cauliflower recipes.
How to boil cauliflower
Cook the cauliflower first so you can just throw it into the finished cheese sauce. It’s a really easy process:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the cauliflower florets and turn the heat down. Cook until the florets are fork tender.
- Drain the cooked cauliflower and set it aside while you make the cheese sauce.
How to make homemade cheese sauce
This simple homemade cheese sauce comes together in a few minutes using just 5 ingredients. It’s ready to eat after a few simple steps:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic until it’s fragrant.
Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Next, whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth.
Add the shredded cheese and stir until it’s completely melted.
To finish the cheesy cauliflower, add the blanched cauliflower to the pot with the cheese sauce, stir to coat, then serve!
Tips and substitutions
- Easily double or triple the recipe if to feed a crowd!
- This recipe is just as delicious with frozen cauliflower as it is with fresh.
- Cooking the cauliflower – Instead of boiling the cauliflower, you can steam or roast the florets instead.
- Cheese – Not a fan of cheddar? No problem! Use any shreddable melting cheese you love, like mozzarella or white cheddar instead.
- Add-ins – You can make this using only cauliflower or add even more veggies, like green beans, carrots, corn, or broccoli.
- Storing – Leftover cheesy cauliflower stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2 or 3 days.
- Freezing – To freeze cheesy cauliflower, let the leftovers cool before transferring them to freezer bags. Let the frozen cauliflower defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat for dinner the next day.
What to serve with cheesy cauliflower
Cheese sauce and cauliflower are delicious on the side of more family-friendly meals, like turkey casserole, rotisserie chicken, and shepherd’s pie. It even makes a great holiday side dish next to the Thanksgiving turkey and potato stuffing. Yum!
More cheesy cauliflower recipes to try
- Mozzarella Cauliflower Casserole
- Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
- Pizza Casserole with Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Grilled Cheese
- Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
- Creamy Pasta with Cauliflower
Pin for later:
- 1 large head cauliflower chopped up into florets, about 6 cups
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pieces of cauliflower, reduce heat to medium and boil for 8-12 minutes, or until a fork easily slides into the cauliflower. Drain cauliflower.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter with garlic. Stir in flour, salt and pepper and mix for 1 minute. Add milk in and whisk until smooth. Add shredded cheese and mix, until cheese is completely melted and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower florets into cheese sauce and stir to fully coat them. Cook for 3 more minutes. Serve and enjoy this cheesy cauliflower!