Creamy baked cauliflower

Think of this as a creamier, richer take on traditional family bake, cauliflower cheese

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:55 mins
    Plus infusing
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 253
  • fat 14g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 23g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 10g
  • salt 0.38g


  • 500ml whole milk
  • 2 small onions, 1 quartered, 1 finely chopped
  • 1 blade mace
  • 4 bay leaves (fresh if you have), scrunched in your hand
  • 1kg cauliflower, broken into large florets
  • 85g butter, plus a knob
  • 85g plain flour
  • grating of nutmeg
  • 50g coarse breadcrumbs (dried or stale)


  1. Put the milk, quartered onion, mace and bay leaves in a pan, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, set aside for 1 hr to infuse, then strain.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Tip in the cauliflower and cook for 5 mins until just tender. Drain and set aside, uncovered, in a colander to steam-dry.

  3. Put the pan back on the heat, then add the knob of butter and the chopped onion. Gently soften onion for 10 mins until really soft but not coloured.

  4. In a medium-sized pan, melt the butter, then stir in the flour to form a paste. Cook for 2 mins, then gradually stir in the strained milk to form a smooth sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring often, until thickened and smooth. Stir in the softened onion and season well with salt and nutmeg.

  5. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the cauliflower into an ovenproof dish and pour over the sauce. Can be covered and chilled for up to 2 days at this stage or frozen. Scatter the cauliflower with the breadcrumbs, then bake for 30 mins until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden and crisp.

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