Baked Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

Baked Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce is a flavorful side dish for those who love cauliflower. This side dish has a wonderfully rich taste. Serve with a roast, and you will have a side everyone will love.

Baked cauliflower with cheese sauce serving in a bowl in front of the dish.

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Cheesy cauliflower bake

I don’t know what is it about cauliflower. Even if you live with a household of people who are not in love with vegetables, this one can turn those who don’t love vegetables into people who are asking for seconds.

This baked cauliflower with cheese sauce is a great side dish to make any time. You can make it ahead of time and serve it whenever you like. Not all side dishes reheat as well as this one does. This recipe is made with simple ingredients, and I can’t think of a better comfort food than a side of baked cauliflower with cheese. This recipe is the perfect side for picky eaters. 

What makes this dish special

A touch of dry mustard powder adds just the right amount of zip and zing to this classic side dish. Cheddar cheese sauce needs a touch of heat to make it just right.

Cauliflower has such a mild taste on its own. That’s why it benefits so much from this delicious cheese sauce that enhances its subtle yet yummy qualities.

I know you are going to love this way of preparing cauliflower.

Why you’ll love this recipe

When it comes to side dishes, you may not always want to spend a lot of time preparing them as they are not the main focus of the meal. However, this particular recipe is very easy to make, and the end result is so delicious that it will seem like you put a lot of effort into it.

When the cauliflower bake comes out of the oven, the cheese is perfectly bubbly on the edges and lightly browned on top. The cauliflower has a nice bite to it; it isn’t too tender or firm but just right!

The best thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. Since cauliflower and cheese pair with many foods, you can serve this with a wide range of entrees, and it will complete the meal perfectly.

Cheesy cauliflower recipe ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need for this cheesy cauliflower casserole:

  • A head of cauliflower
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • Dry yellow mustard
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
Baked cauliflower with cheese sauce ingredients on a tray.

How to make baked cauliflower with cheese

To make this cauliflower with cheese recipe, you will cook the cauliflower in boiling salted water and then pour a cheese sauce over the top. Click on the recipe card for the exact ingredients, and the full recipe write-up.

  1. Cut the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces.
  2. Boil the cauliflower in a large pot of salted water.
  3. Cook the cauliflower until it is fork-tender and then drain the cauliflower, by placing it on a baking sheet.
Collage of preparing cauliflower for baking it with cheese sauce.
  1. Make a béchamel sauce. 
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  3. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and stir to combine the mixture.
  4. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Slowly begin to add milk, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Add the dry mustard and stir to combine.
  7. Add half of the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  8. Place the cooked cauliflower into a large baking dish.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the cauliflower.
  11. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Collage of making cheese sauce for cauliflower.

If desired, you can garnish it with chopped fresh parsley.

Recipe notes

You can buy cauliflower whole from the grocery store, or you can purchase bags of cauliflower florets.

If you want to make this keto-friendly, leave out the flour and substitute heavy cream for the milk.

Baked cauliflower with cheese sauce in a bowl and baking dish.

What to serve this cheesy cauliflower bake with

I suggest serving this side dish with comfort foods such as smoked chicken, baked ham, or pork ribs. Honestly, even a homemade sloppy joe or kielbasa sausage tastes amazing with it, too. There are so many routes you can take.

Pair it with other sides, too: mixed salad, glazed carrots, creamed corn, broccoli salad, or baked beans are all top-tier accompaniments.

How to store leftovers

If you plan to eat it the next day, you can keep the baked cauliflower in the same baking dish that you cooked it in. Make sure to tightly wrap it with foil once it cools and move it to the fridge. Otherwise, I suggest transferring it to an airtight container.

How long does baked cauliflower with cheese last?

This side dish will last 3-4 days when you properly store it. Leftover portions can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months.

What is the best way to reheat this dish?

For the best texture and taste, I would reheat this dish in the oven! You can cover it while you warm it up to prevent the top from burning. Add a splash of milk if needed. Reheat it in a 350°F oven until it is thoroughly heated.

Individual portions can be heated in the microwave. Cover it and stir it every 45 seconds until it is hot.

Baked cauliflower with cheese sauce in a baking dish and a serving in a bowl.

More cauliflower recipes

Favorite vegetable recipes

Check out more of my easy vegetable side dish recipes and the best low carb recipes here on CopyKat!

Baked cauliflower with cheese sauce serving in a bowl in front of the dish.

Baked Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

This cheesy cauliflower bake makes a great side dish that reheats well.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked Cauliflower with Cheese, Cheesy Cauliflower, Low Carb
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 276kcal


  • 3 pounds cauliflower cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese divided use


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Boil the cauliflower in a large pot of salted water until tender but firm, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and place it in a 2-quart casserole dish.
  • While the cauliflower is boiling, prepare the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When the butter has melted completely, add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. The sauce should thicken with each addition of milk. Add the dry yellow mustard and stir to combine. Add 4 ounces of cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower in the casserole dish, sprinkle with the remaining 4 ounces of cheese, and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned.



Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 743mg | Potassium: 768mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 109.3mg | Calcium: 368mg | Iron: 1.3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. baltisraul

    5 stars
    This is 10 stars!! Can’t ever remember veggies tasting this wonderful. I did bake 25 + min, as we like Cauliflower on the softer side. Just taped this one to the fridge!

  2. Mary

    This looks great! Could I use frozen cauliflower in this recipe? Would I change anything if I used frozen?
    Thank you!

  3. Little Cooking Tips

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe Stephanie!We do the same with graviera cheese and kefalotyri on top(for the gratin), and it’s delicious!Haven’t tried the mustard though, it sounds fantastic!Thank you for the yummy idea!
    Panos and Mirella

  4. Erin

    I have never tried a dish like this but I know I would love it! Cauliflower really is a crowd pleaser veggie, isn’t it? 🙂 Yum! Pinning for later!

  5. carissa

    This looks great! It’s like mac and cheese in a healthy way! My kids would love this too. I love cauliflower and with cheese, my kids will too ! Thanks !

  6. Karen Dawkins

    Cauliflower is such a fabulous vegetable! We add dry mustard to most of our cheesy dishes, but I’ve never made this. Our weekly menu has mac and cheese slated for Tuesday, but I think I can swap out the noodles for cauliflower and top with some crumbled bacon. YUM!

  7. Angelina

    What a terrific and healthier alternative to other potato side-dishes (such as Potatoes Au Gratin, or Scalloped Potatoes). This sounds SO delicious, and I definitely serve this as one of my sides- the next time I make a baked ham dinner. Thanks for your lovely recipes, Stephanie.

5 from 7 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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