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Whole roasted cauliflower cheese

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese - you get the beautiful flavour of the roasted cauliflower, and just enough cheese sauce to feel like a treat without ruining your diet!

This whole roasted cauliflower cheese was inspired by a dish my mum cooked over Easter (hi mum! I can hear your squeals of delight from here!). It’s like your usual cauliflower cheese, but the cauliflower is roasted whole, rather than being chopped up into the sauce.

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese - you get the beautiful flavour of the roasted cauliflower, and just enough cheese sauce to feel like a treat without ruining your diet!

This is good for two main reasons.

Firstly, you need to use less cheese sauce. I know, I know, this sounds like a bad thing, but when you’re trying to eat a bit more healthily, a plateful of cheese sauce with a couple of token bits of cauliflower floating in it isn’t particularly acceptable, much as I would love it to be. This whole roasted cauliflower cheese has just enough cheese sauce that you feel like you’ve had something a bit naughty, without actually needing to entirely give up on your diet.

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese - you get the beautiful flavour of the roasted cauliflower, and just enough cheese sauce to feel like a treat without ruining your diet!

Secondly, you get the wonderful slightly-charred flavour of roasted cauliflower, rather than the cauliflower just boiling itself in the sauce. You know how obsessed with roasted cauliflower I am, so I love that the roasted flavour comes out in this recipe.

So basically, a whole roasted cauliflower is the best of both worlds: roasted cauliflower, and cauliflower cheese. It’s neither, and it’s both. And it’s delicious.

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese - you get the beautiful flavour of the roasted cauliflower, and just enough cheese sauce to feel like a treat without ruining your diet!

I’ll warn you now, the cauliflower does take a while to roast. You are sticking an entire vegetable in the oven, remember, so you can’t expect it to be done in twenty minutes. But, most of the cooking time is hands-off time, so don’t worry. Just pop it in an hour or two before your dinner needs to be served, and let it do its thing.

I actually went pretty easy on the cheese sauce this time, because I was desperate to use this little round baking dish, which fitted the cauliflower perfectly, but didn’t leave a huge amount of room for sauce. Again, I was happy with this, because there was just enough sauce to be tasty but not too heavy – but if you’re feeling indulgent, feel free to double the amount of sauce!

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese - you get the beautiful flavour of the roasted cauliflower, and just enough cheese sauce to feel like a treat without ruining your diet!

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Calories:
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 125 ml milk ~1/2 cup
  • 75 g cheddar cheese ~1 cup grated, grated
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
  • Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower, and cut off the end of the thick stalk, until you’re left with just the white head. Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and, once mostly dry, rub it lightly with oil. Place in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for around 30 minutes.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a fairly low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth each time before adding more. Allow to cook over a fairly low heat for a couple more minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly, then add two thirds of the cheese, and mix until smooth. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and plenty of salt and black pepper.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the baking dish, and drain away any liquid.
  • Pour the cheese sauce into the baking dish, and replace the cauliflower on top. Add more salt and pepper if desired, then place in the oven, uncovered. Roast for a further 30 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Then, sprinkle over the remaining cheese, and return to the oven for 15 more minutes, until the cheese topping has melted and begun to crisp up.

Whole roasted cauliflower cheese - you get the beautiful flavour of the roasted cauliflower, and just enough cheese sauce to feel like a treat without ruining your diet!Don’t miss my low-carb cauliflower pizza – it’s even more delicious than it looks!

Low-carb cauliflower pizza

Easy lemon cheesecakes
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Recipe Rating




Pat

Friday 22nd of May 2020

Where do you add the oil?  

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Thursday 4th of June 2020

You rub it onto the cauliflower - see step 2 :)

Cheryl

Saturday 31st of December 2016

This was the hit of my Christmas Day lunch, everyone loved it. It was so easy to prepare, no worrying over pre-cooking/over cooking of the cauliflower. Just enough cheese sauce, even my dad liked it and he hates cauliflower in sauce. Mainly because he had only ever had soggy overcooked cauliflower, he likes it to still have some crunch.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Sunday 1st of January 2017

Thanks so much Cheryl, that's such lovely feedback! I'm so glad you all enjoyed it and it added something to your Christmas dinner :) Happy new year!

Jennifer

Monday 4th of May 2015

This looks so good! My kids would be all over this, thanks for the recipe!!

Sam

Thursday 23rd of April 2015

I love this dish I make it all the time for dinner but have never cooked it this way, I am going to have to give it a go it looks delicious. I would love to give the pizza a go but not sure I could convince hubby on eating it. :)

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Friday 24th of April 2015

Make him taste just one bite and then he'll be hooked, it's so so good!

Holly housewife

Thursday 23rd of April 2015

this looks so so yummy!! I want to sit down with that whole dish on my lap and just dig in! Yum yum.

Hi to your mom!!! :))

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Friday 24th of April 2015

I wouldn't judge!! ;)

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