This Cauliflower Au Gratin is a decadently creamy dish! Cauliflower florets baked in a cheesy bechamel sauce, topped with loads more cheese and a crunchy breadcrumb topping make a delicious side or even main dish for busy weeknights!
Cook the cauliflower: Cook the cauliflower in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain.
Make the cheese sauce: In a saucepan, melt the 4 tbsp of butter. Add the flour and whisk, cook for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the roux and stir until smooth. Let it come to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened, another minute after it comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1 cup of the gruyere cheese and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese.
Assemble the gratin: In a 9x13-inch casserole dish, pour about ⅓ of the cheese sauce, then place all the cauliflower on top. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the remaining gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese over the casserole.
Make the breadcrumb topping: Combine the melted butter with the panko breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the cauliflower.
Bake: Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is browned.
If you are looking for a gluten-free option to this recipe, you can switch up the all-purpose flour with any preferred gluten-free flour such as almond flour, buckwheat flour or amaranth flour.
While nutmeg is one of the main ingredients to get that delicious flavor, if you do end up wanting to leave it out, you can substitute it with a couple of drops of hot sauce or a pinch of ground paprika to boost up the flavors.
As some of you may enjoy a more meaty add-on, you can mix in some bacon bits with the cauliflower, then cover everything with the last cheesy topping and let everything cook together.
If you end up having any leftovers, let them cool down at room temperature, then store in an airtight container in your fridge. This dish holds well for about 2 days. To reheat, bring to room temperature then place it in the oven at 425°F for 8 - 10 minutes or until hot.