This super simple and easy to make cauliflower gratin uses light Havarti cheese, a splash of half and half, breadcrumbs and some seasoning for a delicious quick side.
Thanksgiving is at my Mom’s house this year. She makes the turkey, stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes and we all bring the rest. I always bring a vegetable or two and some appetizers, my cousin brings dessert and my sister in law usually brings a salad.
Some other Thanksgiving side dishes I love to bring are Brussels Sprouts Gratin, Green Bean Salad and Sweet Potatoes Brulee.
Last year I made a cauliflower gratin that was a lot more complicated than this, but I wanted to test out an easier version knowing many of you will be looking for easy sides. This is super simple, all done in the oven so you don’t need to dirty extra pots and pans. You can double this in a 9 x 12 baking dish if you want to feed more people. I used light Havarti cheese because I love the taste, but you can use Swiss, cheddar or whatever you wish.
And BTW, the serving spoon in the photo above and fork below is from Such A Time Designs. Beautiful, affordable silver plated one-of-a-kind hand stamped flatware that makes great gifts.
More Cauliflower recipes:
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chowder
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Rice Balls (Arancini)
- Dad’s Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Light and Easy Cauliflower Gratin
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 5 cups)
- 1/4 cup half and half cream
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 oz shredded light Havarti
- 1 tbsp bread crumbs
- baking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place cauliflower florets in a 9 x 9 baking dish.
- Whisk half & half, salt, black pepper and nutmeg then pour over the cauliflower.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 40 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle with shredded Havarti cheese and breadcrumbs; lightly spray with oil and bake 3 to 5 more minutes.
- If you want it a little browned on top you could place it under the broiler for a minute instead.
34 comments on “Light and Easy Cauliflower Gratin”
This is light and delicious with just the right amount of seasoning. The cheese and bread crumbs add the extra layer that takes this from boring cauliflower to something special.
We discovered this recipe a couple years ago, and it instantly became a family favorite. We always just use the sliced Havarti for sandwiches and tear it up since I can’t always find a block of it at my local grocery store. I love that it isn’t super cheesy- just enough to take the flavor up a notch. It’s the only way my 3 children will eat cauliflower, so it gets made 1-2/month! Thank you!
This recipe is a family favorite in our home!
I’ve been a fan of your recipes for years and this is the first time one didn’t work out! The proportions of 1/4 cup half n half to a head of cauliflower just was not enough. Maybe I had an extra large head? But the half n half just disappeared and I was left with cauliflower that was decidedly un-gratin.
GF bread crumbs are hard to find if you have a substitute suggestion
This is late, but try crushed-up Rice Chex. Looks and tastes nearly identical to panko.
what if all i have is heavy cream? do you know how many more calories per serving i should estimate? thanks!
Has anyone subbed in milk/coconut milke/skim milk for the half and half?
I’m going to use coriander casserole and start it in the microwave
How does a lower fat alternative to the half and half affect the end result? Is there a sub for that or is it really just the best with the full fat? I can’t even remember the last time I bought half and half or heavy cream…. Just wondering if there’s a way to make it “skinnier”!
I made this a few weeks ago and LOVED it! Making it again right now, currently in the oven, but added turkey sausage. Can't wait to see how it turned out. Thanks for the great website!
This looks yummy! I want to make it with your "fried" chicken recipe but that requires the oven to be at 400 degrees. How should I adjust the time/temp to make them both cook properly? Thanks!
Made it last night with Swiss cheese. Only added it at the end with the Panko crumbs… OMG ~ it was AMAZING.
Fantastic gratin. Love how light it is. Thanks for sharing.
Wow. Looks like a great dish. Must taste amazing. Thank you for sharing from 3girls1apple.com
If I wanted to make this the day before for Thanksgiving, what would you recommend? Should I bake all the way and then reheat in the oven or should I stop before the final cheese and breadcrumb step? I plan to bring as a side dish to a potluck style thanksgiving so I don't know if I will be able to get the oven for 45 minutes at the temperature I need – which is why i wanted to bake ahead.
Sure, bake ahead then reheat and top with cheese and crumbs at the end.
Would this work with broccoli?
Yes. Made it yesterday with combo of broccoli and cauliflower. Delish. Only next time i would mix the cheese with the cream instead of on top. Maybe a little extra at the end of baking .
Great side dish!
Are the second instructions for adding the Havarti intentional? The second to last paragraph says how to ad it then the last paragraph says how to ad it again.
I agree w/ Anonymous – it's confusing as well. Are you saying to add shredded cheese twice??
I was also wondering about that.
My guess is that the second instruction is a mistake, that she editted to add the instructions regarding broiling and the sentence about the cheese ending up in the text twice.
Oops, fixing now!
Could this be made with fat-free Half and Half or anything less fatty than regular Half and Half? Thanks!
I used whole milk and it turned out well.
This looks fantastic – creamy but not too heavy. It would be a perfect balance for all the pumpkin pies!
What kind of cheese would be a good substitute for the Havarti if I can't find it? Live in a small town so may not be available at our only grocery store……thanks.
the recipe says: swiss, cheddar or whatever you wish 🙂
I made it last night with sharp cheddar and it was a hit.
hi, sounds yummy…. thank you for the recipe… quick question, my DH and I love our cauliflower crunchy… will 40 minutes make it mushy like a mashed ready version?
Yes, this is tender. If you want a more roasted version, got to my roasted cauliflower recipe and use that – then just top with cheese after.