Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

8 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole is the perfect dish to get your family eating their veggies. It’s easy to make and everyone will want seconds!

If you’re looking for a simple Weeknight Dinner it’s hard to go wrong with a quick casserole. Just like Tuna Noodle Casserole, Chicken Casserole, or Tater Tot Casserole, this cauliflower recipe is an easy way to bring together an entire flavorful dinner all in one dish. 

Serve Baked Cauliflower Casserole as your main dish on a weeknight or as a side dish. You can even add it to your holiday table along with your other traditional dishes. The creamy, cheesy goodness of the casserole will go wonderfully with classic holiday dishes like Roast Turkey or Glazed Ham. 

Sabrina’s Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole Recipe

Cauliflower florets make the perfect base for a variety of recipes. Similar to potatoes, they don’t have an overwhelming taste, so you can top cauliflower off with any number of flavorful ingredients. In this Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole recipe, the cauliflower is combined with a creamy mixture of Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. It’s sprinkled with breadcrumbs before baking for a crunchy topping over the melty cheese sauce for the ultimate, gooey, cheesy, comfort food. 

This Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole recipe is also a tasty way to sneak in veggies! Prepped in under an hour, the cauliflower smothered in a creamy cheese sauce and buttery breadcrumbs are irresistible. The recipe’s simplicity and crowd-pleasing flavor make it a standout for family dinners, elevating cauliflower to comfort food status.


portioned ingredients for Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
  • 1 head Cauliflower: Adds a nutritious base and hearty texture to the casserole. You can use fresh cauliflower or frozen cauliflower that’s been thawed.
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter: Provides richness and flavor to both the cheese sauce and breadcrumb topping. Salted butter can be used if preferred, adjust the added salt accordingly.
  • 3 tablespoons Flour: Acts as a thickening agent for the cheese sauce, giving it a creamy consistency.
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt: Helps to season the cauliflower and cheese sauce.
  • ¼ teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper: Adds a subtle peppery flavor to the cheese sauce. Freshly ground pepper is recommended for the best flavor.
  • 2 cups Whole Milk: Forms the base of the creamy cheese sauce.
  • 1 cup Mozzarella: Melts into the cheese sauce, giving it gooeyness and a mild, creamy flavor. Cheddar or Gruyere can be used for a different flavor profile.
  • ½ cup Freshly Grated Parmesan: Adds a bold, salty flavor to the cheese sauce and helps to thicken it. Try Asiago or Romano cheese for a similar taste.
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Thyme: Infuses the cheese sauce with a subtle earthy and herby flavor. Fresh thyme can be used if available, adjust the quantity up to 1 and ⅕ teaspoons with fresh thyme.
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs: Provides a crunchy topping for the casserole, adding texture and contrast to the creamy cauliflower and cheese. Regular breadcrumbs can be used as a substitute if preferred.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Oven: Essential for baking the casserole to perfection at 375 degrees. Ensure the oven is preheated before placing the casserole inside for even cooking.
  • Saucepan: Used to prepare the creamy cheese sauce, melting butter, and whisking in flour and milk. Pick a heavy-bottomed saucepan to prevent scorching, and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl: Convenient for steaming the cauliflower florets quickly in the microwave before adding them to the casserole. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to retain moisture during microwaving.
  • Baking Dish (9×13): This is the container for assembling and baking the casserole. Grease the baking dish with vegetable oil spray or melted butter to prevent sticking.
  • Mixing Bowls: Necessary for combining ingredients for both the cheese sauce and breadcrumb topping, if needed.

How to Make Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Time needed: 50 minutes.

  1. Preheat and Grease

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or lightly brush with melted butter or oil.

  2. Prep the Cauliflower

    Chop your head of cauliflower into more manageable, bite-size cauliflower florets. Add the cauliflower florets to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover it in a wet paper towel to help absorb the moisture. Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes, then leave the microwave-cooked cauliflower florets uncovered for another 5 minutes. cauliflower florets in a bowl

  3. Make the Cheese Sauce

    While the cauliflower is sitting start the cheese sauce. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to your saucepan and melt it over medium heat. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and cook the butter mixture until it’s bubbling and the flour is no longer raw. Add in the milk and whisk until smooth. Continue to let the mixture cook until it’s thick and bubbling then add the mozzarella, Parmesan, and thyme. Stir the sauce together until it’s completely melted. Toss in the cauliflower and stir until they are well coated. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish. adding cheese to roux

  4. Combine Cauliflower and Sauce

    Coat the cooked cauliflower with the cheese sauce, then spread the mixture evenly in a greased baking dish.cauliflower florets covered with the cheese roux in a baking dish

  5. Prepare the Breadcrumb Topping

    Cook the breadcrumbs in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the casserole dish. cauliflower florets covered with the cheese roux and bread crumbs in a baking dish

  6. Bake the Casserole

    Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the cauliflower and bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.serving spoon taking a scoop of Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Can This Be Made Ahead?

Yes, this Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole can be made ahead of time. Prepare the casserole up until the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, simply bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes to ensure thorough heating.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 579mg25%
Potassium 344mg10%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 507IU10%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 254mg25%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Store


After baking, don’t leave your Cauliflower Casserole recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Once the cheesy casserole has a chance to cool, you can cover and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Reheating Tips

To reheat the Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole, use a regular oven or microwave. Preheat the oven to 350, cover the casserole with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through. It will be about 10 minutes on medium-high heat on the stovetop too. For a quick option, microwave individual servings on high for 2-3 minutes until piping hot. Enjoy!


You can also freeze the recipe in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.

Frequent Questions

Can I use frozen cauliflower instead of fresh?

Yes, frozen cauliflower can be used. Thaw and drain it before microwaving to make sure it cooks all the way through.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Certainly! Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheeses. Cheddar, Gruyere, or a blend of cheeses can be delicious substitutes.

What should I do if my cheese sauce is too thick?

If the cheese sauce becomes too thick, add a splash of milk and whisk until smooth, repeating until the desired consistency is reached.

Can I omit the breadcrumbs for a lower-carb option?

Absolutely! You can omit the breadcrumbs, no problem. You can also serve them on the side for those who would be interested in breadcrumbs as a topping.

Recipe Card

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole is the perfect dish to get your family eating their veggies. It's easy to make and everyone will want seconds!
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray (or brush with melted butter).
  • Cut the cauliflower into florets (and if you want, peel the stalk and chop).
  • Rinse and add (while wet) to a large microwave-safe bowl and cover with a wet paper towel.
  • Cook for 5 minutes then let sit for 5 minutes covered.
  • In a large saucepan on medium heat and add 4 tablespoons butter until just melted.
  • Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute, until bubbly and the flour is no longer raw.
  • Slowly add in milk while whisking constantly until smooth.
  • Let cook until bubbly and thick, then add in the mozzarella, parmesan, and dried thyme, stirring well until completely melted.
  • Stir in the cooked cauliflower and coat well.
  • Pour mixture into a baking dish and spread evenly.
  • In a small saucepan on medium-high add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the panko bread crumbs.
  • Stir well until panko is well coated.
  • Sprinkle panko over the cauliflower and bake for 30 minutes.


  • Click on the yield amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
  • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
  • To convert measurements to grams, click on the Metric option next to Ingredients in the recipe card.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 507IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 254mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

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Variations on Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

  • Cheese: You can add a variety of different cheeses to the cheese sauce in this recipe. Try using mild cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, depending on your taste. Other cheeses to try in the cheesy sauce are Swiss, provolone, Pepper Jack, and gouda. You can also sprinkle feta or goat cheese over the top before serving.
  • Toppings: Another great thing about the simple cauliflower base of this casserole is that you can add lots of different toppings. Try putting out small serving dishes of toppings along with the Cauliflower Cheese Casserole. Then, everyone can assemble their own version of the comforting meal. Here are some favorite add-ons: sour cream, chives, green onions, bacon bits, salsa, and, of course, extra cheese.
  • Add-ins: To make a more filling casserole, try adding in some chopped potatoes or cooked chicken. To change up the flavor mix in chives, green onions, garlic powder, paprika, or red pepper flakes.
  • Pizza Cauliflower Casserole: To make pizza cauliflower casserole top the cheesy blend off with pepperoni, cooked sausage, or any of your other favorite pizza toppings.
  • Gluten-free: If you want a gluten-free casserole, you’ll need to replace the breadcrumbs and the flour. Use oat, almond, or coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour. For the breadcrumbs leave gluten-free bread out overnight and break it into pieces to bake on top of the casserole.

More Cheesy Side Dishes

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole pin

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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