As autumn grows closer, our side dishes change from light to more hearty. This cheesy Cauliflower Bacon Gratin is perfect when there’s a chill in the air, both comforting and delicious!Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

I’ve gotten my picky family to eat by coating the florets with Parmesan and bread crumbs and popping them in the oven until crispy.  So I was reasonably optimistic that they’d at least take a courtesy bite of Dorie Greenspan’s creamy, cheesy, bacon spiked gratin.

The first time I made this lovely side dish, I was an instant fan, but the rest of the family gave this cauliflower bacon gratin the cold shoulder. Bill gave it an OK rating, but was definitely not enamored with this side dish. I was willing to give it another try. Worst case scenario, I’d have to eat all 10 servings myself. The sacrifices I make!

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

Round 2 Results

Well, what do you know. I didn’t mention to Bill that this was the second go around for this gratin, seven years later, to be exact. Surprisingly, his tune has changed and the hubby was a huge fan. He seriously loved this cauliflower gratin, especially the real bacon strips strewn across the top. Maybe his palate is finally maturing!

The cream, eggs, flour and Gruyere puffed in the oven to form a rich and elegant base for the cauliflower pieces. Rustic and beautiful, this dish would be perfect on a holiday buffet or for a weekend side dish. I even ate the leftovers cold. That tells you something, doesn’t it???

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

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Make My Cauliflower a Main Dish

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

Serves 10
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hr


    • 1 head of cauliflower
    • 1/4 pound of bacon, cut into thin strips
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 5 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Freshly grated nutmeg
    • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with  parchment paper. Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and place on the baking sheet.

Cut the cauliflower into florets,  leaving about an inch or so of stem. Drop the florets into salted, boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander,then run cold water over cauliflower to cool. Pat dry.

Add the bacon strips into a skillet and cook over medium heat just until the bacon is browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

Place the cauliflower in the prepared pan, and top with the bacon bits.

Put the flour in a bowl and gradually whisk in the eggs. When the flour and eggs are blended, whisk in the cream and milk. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir in about two thirds of the cheese. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower, then top with the remaining cheese.

Bake the gratin for about 25 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top needs more browning, place under the broiler for a minute or two, watching carefully.

Recipe Notes

Dorie’s tips:

  • Recipe is best served warm on the day it is made, but it can also be served at room temperature, like a quiche.
  • You may use ham cubes instead of bacon, add other vegetables or even herbs.
  • If you have leftovers, reheat gently in the microwave after bringing to room temperature.
  • This also makes a wonderful entree, served with a green salad.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 235kcal Calories from fat 170
% Daily Value
Total Fat 19g
Saturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 131mg
Sodium 325mg
Carbohydrate 8g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 9g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g