A light and healthy casserole that doesn’t taste healthy or light, and you won’t feel have to feel guilty coming back for seconds! It’s perfect as a main course or a side.

ACTIVE TIME: 20 min
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
SERVINGS: 4
CALORIES: 220 calories per serving
COST: CAD $0.80 per serving
FRIDGE: refrigerate for up to 5 days (but it’s best straight out of the oven when the top layer is super crispy)
FREEZER: freeze for several months

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head or 550 g of cauliflower
  • 25 g butter (about 2 tbsp)
  • 10 g flour (about 2 tbsp)
  • 150 mL milk
  • 1 cup or 113 g of roughly chopped cheese (I used marbled cheddar)

Instructions

  1. Steam cauliflower until almost fall-apart tender. I used my Instant Pot's STEAM function (5 min @ high).
  2. While you let the cauliflower cool, add butter and flour to a medium saucepan on medium heat and whisk together.
  3. When thoroughly mixed, add milk and turn heat down to low. Whisk frequently until sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in two-thirds of the cheese and turn off heat.
  5. When cauliflower is cool enough to handle, break into small florets and add to saucepan. Stir, coating all the florets.
  6. Pour into a small glass casserole dish (or foil-lined baking pan) and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  7. Bake at 375° F on the second-to-top rack for 25–30 minutes, or until golden on top.

Nutrition and Cost Breakdown

nutrition and cost information for creamy cauliflower cheese bake

Recipe notes

creamy cauliflower cheese bake

Make sure you really reduce the sauce before pouring it on the cauliflower—the cauliflower already contains lots of moisture, so it may become soggy if the sauce is too wet.

You can also mix in some sliced cremini mushrooms to bulk it up and add more veggies. If you aren’t vegetarian, add some bacon bits for an even richer, more savoury flavour.

Cheese, cheese, cheese

creamy cauliflower cheese bake

One thing I’ve learned about cheese is that for 90% of recipes out there, it doesn’t really matter what kind you use. I have had success straight up subbing mozzarella for cheddar cheese. Chances are it’s that rich, dairy taste you crave in a dish rather than the nuances of a particular cheese itself (and this is coming from a cheese superfan). For this recipe, any kind of firm cheese will do. Mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey jack, Oka, friulano, doesn’t matter they all work.

Therefore, my advice for my home cooks out there is to just buy whatever firm cheese is on sale and use it as an all-purpose cheese for every recipe. Unless you’re preparing a fancy once-in-a-while dinner, there’s no need to go out to a grocery store and buy a specific cheese for one recipe.