Updated on January 20, 2019
Cauliflower casserole or cauliflower gratin (cauliflower and cheese bake) is a great spicy dish for the dinner. It is easy and fast dinner recipe, yet full of flavor. Cauliflower and cheese are best partners, with addition of jalapeno to spice it up. Nice comfort food for the winter season!
There are so many variations cauliflower casserole recipes, because this is a best side dish or a appetizer during cold winter months to enjoy. However, this is one of our favorite fall recipes, too.
This gratin recipe is so comforting and warming. Imagine creamy cauliflower in delicious cheese sauce, so delicious!
You don’t need to go to cooking school to serve delicious dishes for your family dinner.
Follow our blog and you can browse recipe to find more easy dinner ideas, no special cooking techniques required. Feel free to ask a question, if you have one, in the comment section below the recipe.
We think that this cauliflower cheese bake is better and healthier than mac and cheese. One of the best vegetarian recipes so far on this blog!
And the cook time is only 24 minutes, prep time is around 8 minute, so about half an hour in total. No baking sheet needed, just brush your casserole pans with few tablespoons butter or olive oil.
To make this dish you will need only half head of cauliflower or maybe less, depending on the size of vegetable. Cut cauliflower florets, mix with bell pepper, jalapeno, salt and pepper, spices and cheese and bake in preheated oven until ready.
It looks amazing, tastes good, what else do you need, hah?
Cauliflower and cheese
I used mozzarella, cream cheese and local hard cheese to make this roasted cauliflower dish come together. You can use a cup grated Parmesan too. Perfect combination for the cheese sauce!
This cauliflower casserole is a great way to serve tasty vegetables to your kids! They will likely enjoy these vegetables with cheese.
However, if you plan serving it to kids, I recommend reducing the amount of jalapeno. You know, we love things that are spicy! I will mention further in this post, how can you substitute jalapeno to serve this tasty cauliflower cheese bake for the kids, too.
By the way, to make this cauliflower gratin extra cheesy and crunchy, add freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese on top, combined with 1 tablespoon bread crumbs. Grated Gruyère cheese will be nice and flavorful, too.
Bake 5 minutes more, or until the top is golden or cheese melt and brown. Good to serve with fresh thyme, sprinkled on top.
Serving cauliflower gratin
I’ve chosen to serve this cauliflower gratin in beautiful individual baking dishes, so you can eat it right from the baking plate. This recipe makes 2 individual cauliflower dishes, but if you don’t have individual baking dishes for everyone, or they don’t fit in your oven at once, don’t worry!
To prepare more of this cauliflower casserole recipe for guests, you can use whole cauliflower and make every ingredients x 4 (except for jalapeno, you can use about 1 inch for the bigger dish).
You can serve it in the big making dish at the center or the table, so that everyone can spoon cauliflower and cheese to individual plate. It’s great for healthy vegetarian party, too!
By the way, if you are planning date night at home, this individually served cauliflower casserole is a great start! Keep in mind, you can use this recipe for Valentine’s day and prepare easy, delicious comfort dinner for two.
Serve this au gratins for the start and check our no fuss trifle recipe, served in individual glasses for the dessert.
Moreover, you can make this gratin dishes and dessert ahead of time. Just wrap the cauliflower dishes in plastic wrap and store in the fridge upt to 5 days. Reheat the cauliflower casseroles, unwrapped, about 15 minutes in the oven or microwave for about 2-3 minutes.
If you both are cheese lovers, too, you can top gratin dish with some extra cheddar, Gruyère or Parmesan cheeses. Add less than half a cup fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary and parsley. Enjoy with a good red wine!
Choose baked cauliflower recipes
To my mind, roasting cauliflower extracts more flavor from this vegetable. As I already mentioned previously in cauliflower soup blog post, there is more nutty flavor, and it is much more delicious when it is lightly browned.
Cauliflower is a real superhero of our table!
We already made cauliflower breadsticks – super cheesy snack, that is gluten free, and more and more cauliflower recipes. Cauliflower is so versatile and greatly accompanies other vegetables and, to my mind, best enjoyed roasted and with melted cheese.
Spicy cauliflower caserole
Cauliflower and cheese is great, but the spices just really finish this comfort dish. As I love to make the dish hotter, I often use cayenne pepper in my recipes. For this cauliflower casserole I used marinated jalapeno peppers without seeds.
Marinated jalapeno is great addition to your regular dishes, such as omelette or baked vegetables. However, don’t be generous with this vegetable, even a tiny slice of jalapeno is enough for big plate of food!
By the way, if you want to make this cauliflower cheese bake kids friendly, use Italian seasoning instead of jalapeno pepper. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can make it at home. In our Linguine with vegetables and cheese blog post I mentioned how to make Italian seasoning.
So cauliflower casserole or gratin
Actually it could be both, choose the name you like to present this comfort dish to your family or guests. Gratin is always made with cheese, while casserole not always requires it. Anyways, all home cooks will enjoy this easy vegetarian recipe!
So is it cauliflower gratin or cauliflower and cheese casserole? Which name do you prefer? Leave the comment below, we would like to know your opinion!
Cauliflower casserole – Cauliflower gratin
- 2 mini baking dishes (5,7 inch / 14,5 cm in diameter).
- A pan
- 1/4 cauliflower
- 1 tbsp butter to grease
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 mozzarella grated
- 3 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 cup hard cheese grated
- 1/2 bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 lettuce leaves chopped
- 1/2 inch pickled jalapeno pepper (optional)
- 3 tbsp bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 F / 180C
- Cut cauliflower in small florets.1/4 cauliflower
- Steam cauliflower florets with few tablespoons of water in a pan for about 2 minutes. Remove the excess liquid.
- Add chopped bell pepper, onion, lettuce leaves and jalapeno, cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.1/2 bell pepper, 1/2 onion, 2 lettuce leaves, 1/2 inch pickled jalapeno pepper
- Stir in cream cheese, mozzarella hard cheese and bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 3 tbsp cream cheese, 1 cup hard cheese, 3 tbsp bread crumbs, 1 mozzarella
- Transfer the mixture to the two baking dishes, greased with butter.1 tbsp butter
- Bake for about 20 minutes.