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Traditional English Cheddar Cauliflower Cheese – Gratin


  • 1large cauliflower
  • 300ml milk
  • 220g Mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 3tablespoons plain flour
  • 50g butter
  • 25g fresh breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1⁄2teaspoon dried English mustard (Colman's)
  • nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper


  • *If oven baking, pre-heat oven to 225C or 450°F.
  • Trim the cauliflower & break into small florets.
  • Boil in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until just tender.
  • Drain in a colander and then place in a buttered ovenproof baking dish.
  • Add the milk, flour and butter to a saucepan.
  • Heat and whisking with a wire whisk continuously until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth.
  • Allow to simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add three-quarters of the grated cheese, mustard, a pinch of nutmeg and seasoning.
  • Cook for further minute stirring well.
  • Pour the sauce over the cauliflower.
  • Mix the remaining cheese, and breadcrumbs, if using, together, sprinkle over the top.
  • Place under a hot grill until golden brown, OR, bake in a pre-heated oven 225C/450F for about 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
  • Serve immediately.


  • micro_ang

    Yum, I love cauliflower cheese, and this is an easy and tasty recipe! Definately a five star keeper! French Tart, you are obviously a talented chef, I have come across a few of your recipes on here now and they are all great! Thanks!

  • Kumquat the Cat’s friend

    Made this for a vegetarian dinner party. One guest didn’t like cauliflower and didn’t tell me, even though I had asked him to tell me what he didn’t like. My BF told me he had several servings:) It was a bit saucy, but my cauliflower wasn’t terribly large. At first I thought it needed more mustard (yes, I used Colman’s) but the next day I thought it was just perfect! I also used a high-quality aged cheddar. I’ll be making this again, thanks.

  • the80srule

    The only word I can use to describe this dish is PERFECTION! I used to not be as big of a fan of cauliflower, but this was delicious. The cheese sauce is just the right consistency and bakes marvellously. Since I can’t find dried English mustard around here, I made my own (Dried English Mustard) and it worked brilliantly. The only things I did different was I used a whole 8-oz bag of cheese because I’m a cheese addict, and I used crispy buttery panko for a topping; the crunchy cheesiness was the perfect compliment to the tender cauliflower. Definitely a keeper to make over and over again! Made as a VIP recipenap for Veggie Swap 17.

  • lolablitz

    Great recipe! DH Loves it and it makes a nice veg-based starch. I make it often with good aged cheddar and Colman's mustard. I use 1 1/4 cups of milk and 2 cups of sharp cheddar, 3 Tbs butter and flour, 1/4 cup bread crumbs (the conversion function on this site is terrible, so this is for future reference 🙂 Thanks French Tart, your recipes are all FAB!

  • rmarvlynn

    Excellent. For those without a kitchen scale: 220 g of cheddar worked out to 2 cups shredded and packed 25 g of breadcrumbs was about 1/4 cup 50 g of butter was 1/4 cup

  • Marie Nixon

    I enjoyed this dish. I was glad that I actually had Coleman’s English mustard.

  • Msjin

    This was great. Left the breadcrumbs and it was still delicious. Thank you for sharing

  • Quite Contrary

    This is awesome — way better than I had hoped even after reading all the stellar reviews. This would be a great dish for those who may think they don’t enjoy cauliflower. If I didn’t know what it was, I would have guessed it was a potato au gratin. I used the biggest head of cauliflower I could find, 4 ounces of full-fat extra sharp cheddar, 4 ounces of 2% reduced fat extra sharp cheddar, and used a blend of skim and 1% milk with a touch of non-fat half & half for the dairy. For the butter I reduced the amount just a little and used a butter/canola oil spread (land-o-lakes brand). It was still very rich and satisfying and DH could not tell it was not made with full-fat everything. It is even better the next day. This was crazy good — thanks for posting!

  • PearTree

    Absolutely delicious! I used Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar. Made this to go with our Sunday roast and it was perfect. Thanks French Tart!

  • The_Mick

    Excellent! Everyone to whom I served it loves this: a great change of pace from macaroni and cheese – and healthier! THREE notes: ONE: for slightly-crunchy, non-mushy, cauliflower, put the raw pieces in a bowl while the water in your pot heats to a good boil. Then add the pieces, boil for only 10 minutes, and drain into a colander. If you’re not going to add the sauce and eat immediately (without baking), rinse or soak the hot cauliflower in cold water to stop the cooking. Then, toss with the hot sauce and place in a buttered baking dish, with any desired topping, set aside, then later bake as directed in the recipe. TWO: For those who have never made a bechamel sauce (butter, flour, milk) as in step 5, I suggest melting the butter alone in the saucepan, adding the flour and stirring it into a paste over low heat for 2 min. to get rid of the raw flour taste, then slowly adding milk while stirring with a fork, and the flour-butter (roux) will readily dissolve into the milk. THREE: My broken up raw cauliflower filled up a 3-qt pot and I’m guessing the sauce could have been stretched for up 50% more.