Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon, a classic side dish with a twist. The cauliflower is baked in a delicious white sauce with bacon until golden and bubbling hot. A winner with the whole family, this is a recipe for every occasion.
Cauliflower might have once been seen as a less-interesting-than-broccoli veggie, but now it enjoys immense popularity due to the low-carb diet. It can be cooked in endless ways, it's healthy, and, I must add, really tasty too.
But one dish remains extremely popular with all ages - the one and only cauliflower cheese. If the title confuses you a bit, it's actually cauliflower florets baked in a bechamel sauce until bubbling hot and golden.
Now, that's the classic version. But the basic recipe can be tweaked in so many ways to cater for all tastes and ages. Add any meat you like: bacon, chicken, ham, leftover meat, and the list is so long, or combine it with broccoli for a cauliflower and broccoli cheese recipe.
And surprisingly, my girls loved it too, I didn't actually expect them to. They aren't really fussy, but to kids it might seem less appealing than the colourful veggies kids love. Let's see how to make it!
Ingredients needed to make cauliflower cheese with bacon
- cauliflower head - I used a medium-sized one
- plain flour
- full-fat milk - semi-skimmed also ok
- grated cheddar cheese
- grated parmesan cheese
- dijon mustard
- ground black pepper
- bacon lardons - or bacon rashes nicely chopped
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Before the cauliflower florets can be smothered in the cheese sauce, it is best to boil them for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften, but they still hold their shape well.
Otherwise they won't have time to become tender in the oven, resulting in crunchy cauliflower cheese. Not that I mind crunchy veggies, but in this particular recipe it is best if they are tender, they go a lot better with the hot cheesy sauce.
- break the cauliflower head into florets, and add them to a pan with salted water
- boil for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften, but they still hold their shape well
- drain and set aside
- to make the sauce, start by cooking the bacon lardons in a pan set over a medium heat
- when cooked, remove from the pan and set aside
- in the same pan, add the butter, and allow it to melt
- add the flour and whisk well to a smooth paste, then pour in the milk and whisk until it thickens
- add the cheese, dijon mustard, and black pepper and mix well
- transfer the cauliflower florets into a buttered ovenproof dish, top with the bacon lardons, and pour over the sauce
- top with grated cheese and bake at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling hot
It really is an easy recipe that can se served as a side dish to any roast, at every occasion, be it a nice Sunday roast, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other celebration. Do give it a go, it's lush!
Other veggie bake recipes
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Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon
- 1 medium cauliflower head
- 25 g butter
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 cup full-fat milk
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 200 g bacon lardons
- Break the cauliflower head into florets, and add them to a pan with salted water.
- Boil for 3-4 minutes until the cauliflower florets begin to soften slightly, but they still hold their shape well.
- Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.
- Cook the bacon lardons until crispy and golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk well.
- Pour in the milk, and whisk until it thickens into a sauce.
- Add the parmesan, half of the grated cheddar cheese, dijon mustard and black pepper.
- Mix well.
- Butter an ovenproof dish, arrange the cauliflower, top with bacon, and drizzle the bechamel sauce all over it.
- Top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) until golden and bubbling hot.
- If you'd like to see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
- The number of ingredients can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need. To do so, please click on the number next to SERVINGS and adjust accordingly.