Kirbie's Cravings

Cauliflower Gratin

This creamy cauliflower gratin is healthier than the potato version but just as delicious. It’s made with mashed cauliflower, bacon, and cheese so it’s creamy and cheesy. It’s a great side dish for holiday dinners.

close-up photo of a scoop of Cauliflower Gratin

This cauliflower gratin is another Thanksgiving side idea. I know there’s been an unusual amount of savory recipes lately. I’m gearing up for major baking for Thanksgiving though!

Potato gratin is one of Mr. K’s favorite dishes. He loves all that cheese and bacon. I don’t make it too often because I know how unhealthy it is. So after discovering cauliflower as a great potato substitute, I decided to try making his favorite with cauliflower instead. The verdict? He loved it!

Cauliflower mimics the texture of potatoes so well. With all the added cheese and bacon, it really masks any vegetable flavor.


  • Mashed cauliflower
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Finely chopped cooked bacon

photo of a spoonful of cauliflower gratin

How to prep the cauliflower florets: Follow the instructions in my Mashed Cauliflower recipe. You can boil the cauliflower in a large pot until it’s tender with water instead of broth, if you like, for this gratin since there will be so much flavor from the cheese and bacon.

Casserole dish: for this recipe, I made two small cauliflower au gratin but you can use a 1-quart baking dish to make a single casserole. You can also double this recipe if you want to serve more.

Cheese options: I like Parmesan but you can use shredded sharp cheddar cheese, white cheddar, or Gruyere cheese to give the dish a different flavor.

photo of cauliflower gratin in a baking dish

Recipe Steps

Spray or butter the small casserole dishes (or one dish if you are making one gratin) and preheat the oven to 375°F

Place the cauliflower mash mixture in the baking dishes. Stir some of the crumbled cooked bacon into each and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Top the cheese with the rest of the bacon.

Bake the gratins for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. At the end of the baking time, I like to turn the oven to a low broil so the tops of the gratins turn golden and bubbling.

Garnish Ideas: You can sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top with some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired. I think sprinkling some toasted breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter sprinkled over the top would work well, too.

After I served this dish, I left the room for a minute and when I came back, the baking dish was empty. He asked me to make him more. Yes, I’m pretty shocked too…It’s almost as shocking as when I found him awake before me last Sunday and cleaning the house.

He also had brought me up breakfast in bed. Okay, it was just bread we had bought from the bakery the night before, but still. I can’t remember the last time he brought me up any meal in bed.

So maybe he wasn’t quite himself when he declared his love for this cauliflower gratin recipe, but it’s definitely a keeper and one that I really enjoy, too. I think it would be great as a side dish for Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas dinner.

close-up photo of cauliflower gratin

More Holiday Recipe Ideas

Cauliflower Gratin

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
This creamy mashed cauliflower gratin is healthier than the potato version but just as delicious.


  • 1 recipe mashed cauliflower (see note)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 6 strips cooked bacon finely chopped


  • Prepare two small casserole dishes (mine each hold 12 oz water when poured to the brim). Make the recipe for mashed cauliflower.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Add mash to the bottom of the two casserole dishes. Mix 2 strips of the finely chopped bacon into each mash. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese on top of each mash. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese on top of each mash. Finally sprinkle 1 strip of finely chopped bacon on top of each dish.
  • Bake about 15 minutes until cheese is melted. You can turn oven to a low broil for about 1-2 minutes to get the cheese to brown and bubble. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving, if desired.


  • Follow the instructions for this Mashed Cauliflower recipe. You can boil the cauliflower in water instead of broth if you like for this gratin since there will be so much flavor from the cheese and bacon.


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 10.6g, Protein: 23.3g, Fat: 34.1g, Saturated Fat: 15.9g, Sodium: 896.7mg, Fiber: 2.9g, Sugar: 4.4g, NET CARBS: 8g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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