This cauliflower carrot gratin recipe will be your new favorite side dish, but it is really reminiscent of vintage recipes of the past. This vegetable dish goes with so many different main courses; roasted chicken, fish, turkey, or steak. Try this twist on a traditional potato au gratin. This cheesy gratin with a buttery bread crumb topping is a perfect holiday side dish – but so simple to put together, you can make it any time!
When the holidays approach, I start thinking about food. As much as I love the main course, be it turkey or ham, I am a girl that is all about the sides!
This week I have shared three new side dish recipes that would be perfect for a holiday meal, and yet, all of them are simple enough to whip up for a weeknight meal, like this Cauliflower Carrot Gratin recipe. Heck, I could actually make a meal out of this one here. A totally comforting and satisfying meatless meal. Yes, please.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE CAULIFLOWER CARROT GRATIN
Like potatoes, cauliflower is a blank canvas for all kinds of flavors and is a healthier alternative with its boost of dietary fiber. The sweetness of the carrots and the buttery, bubbly goodness of this casserole makes this a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even just an ordinary weekday. Who doesn’t love a cheesy casserole topped with crunchy, golden-brown breadcrumbs?
What is Gratin?
What is a gratin you ask? Gratin or au gratin is a method of topping a dish with a browned crust. This crust is the result of using ingredients such as breadcrumbs with butter or grated cheese, or all three as shown in this recipe! Typically baked, and sometimes grilled until hot, bubbly, and golden brown.
Are casseroles and gratins the same?
Let’s just say that a gratin is a casserole, but a casserole is not necessarily a gratin. Both are baked in the oven, but a casserole is usually considered to be the main dish, whereas a gratin is usually served as a side dish.
A gratin is specific in that its ingredients are layered and it must have a signature top crust made of cheese or breadcrumbs or both! For a casserole, it is often ingredients all combined together and baked. According to this theory, a lasagna could be considered a gratin due to its layered ingredients and a crust of cheese on top!
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS EASY CAULIFLOWER GRATIN
Find exact measurements and complete instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Carrots – I use baby carrots, but you can certainly use sliced, diced, or julienned.
- Cauliflower – Use a whole head and cut into florets. As a shortcut, you can buy florets in the produce section of your supermarket.
- Butter – You can substitute olive oil, but the butter really makes this recipe extra good!
- Onion – You can use a white or yellow onion in this recipe. One of my favorite time savers is to buy pre-chopped onions in the produce section or frozen section of your grocery store. This will save you time and tears!
- Flour – All-purpose flour is best for this recipe.
- Ground mustard
- Milk – Any kind of milk is fine.
- American cheese – Use good ol’ American cheese slices to achieve the creamy goodness of this gratin.
- Bread crumbs – I recommend using panko for the ultimate crispy topping!
HOW TO MAKE THIS CAULIFLOWER AND CARROT CASSEROLE
FIRST: Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray your casserole dish with cooking spray.
SECOND: Boil a large pot of salted water. Add carrots to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 4 more minutes. Drain and set aside.
THIRD: Cook the onion in butter over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in flour, salt, and mustard with a whisk; cook for about 1 minute or until bubbly. Slowly stir in milk. Cook and stir until bubbly and slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir the carrots and cauliflower into the cheese sauce.
Pour the vegetable and cheese mixture into the baking dish.
FOURTH: In a small bowl, microwave the remaining butter until melted.
Stir in bread crumbs and then sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
FIFTH: Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. ENJOY!
Love it? Pin it!
If you love this Cauliflower Carrot Gratin recipe make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!
What is the meaning of gratin? The word gratin comes from the French language meaning “to scrape” or “to grate”. For most gratin recipes this refers to the grating or scrapings of bread or cheese that forms a crust or skin on top of the dish.
Where did Potatoes au gratin originate? Potatoes au gratin is a french dish also known as “Gratin Dauphinoise” that was created in the late 1700s in the region of Dauphine, France. It is a decadent dish made of sliced potatoes and baked with cream and grated cheese.
Need a recipe? This one is amazing!
- Carrots – I use baby cut carrots, but you can certainly use sliced, diced or julienned. Fresh is best, but you can use frozen carrots in a pinch.
- Cauliflower – Again, fresh is best but you can substitute frozen. To change up the flavor and colors of this dish you could substitute broccoli for cauliflower or do half and half.
- Butter – You can use olive oil instead if you want a dairy-free substitute.
- Onion – I recommend yellow or white onion, but you could also use shallots.
- Ground dry mustard – The best substitute for ground mustard is dijon mustard. Use the ratio of 1 teaspoon of ground mustard to 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. You can also use brown, yellow, or stone ground mustard, but it will not give you quite the same mustard essence.
- Milk – You can substitute half and half, cream, evaporated milk, or almond milk.
- American cheese – This will give you the most creaminess but you can experiment with cheese – maybe cheddar, swiss or jack cheese. Parmesan cheese would also be a nice finishing touch to sprinkle along with the bread crumbs.
- Panko bread crumbs – You can use any kind of pre-made bread crumbs, fresh bread crumbs or ritz crackers, but panko will give you the crispiest crust.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Does chopping onions make you cry? Save yourself tears and time by buying pre-chopped onions in your grocery store. You can usually find them in the fresh produce section by the herbs or in frozen produce.
- American cheese can also be purchased in bulk in most grocery stores. If you buy a wedge or block you can either chop it or grate it before adding to the milk mixture.
- You know your milk mixture is thickened when it passes the “wooden spoon” test. Dip a wooden spoon into the mixture and trace a line on the back of the spoon. If the line remains visible, your sauce is thickened sufficiently.
- Add a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper before serving if you want to amp up the spice a bit.
- Cauliflower gratin is best served fresh, but you can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. However, the bread crumbs on top will get soggy when stored.
- You can prep this easy cauliflower gratin ahead of time. Simply prepare through the third step and store the casserole in the fridge. Make bread crumb mixture and top the casserole right before you are ready to bake.
MORE SIDE DISHES TO LOVE
This week I have shared 3 brand-new side dishes in preparation for the holidays. I have joined a group of bloggers who are doing the same. Check out all of the recipes at the bottom of this post. Here are more side dishes to love:
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts (pictured above)
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato Mash
- Oven Roasted Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Orange Glazed Carrots
Got cauliflower? Got carrots? Make this scrumptious gratin recipe today and take your dinner to the next level.
- 1 bag (16 oz) baby-cut carrots
- 1 head (about 2 1/2 lb) of fresh cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped ( about 1/2 cup)
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 8 slices of American cheese, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 2 ½ quart casserole with cooking spray.
- In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 8 cups of water to boiling. Add carrots; boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Add cauliflower; boil for 4 minutes longer. Drain; set aside.
- In a 4-quart saucepan, melt 3 Tablespoons of the butter. Cook onion in butter for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in flour, salt, and mustard with a whisk; cook for about 1 minute or until bubbly. Slowly stir in milk. Cook and stir until bubbly and slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir in carrots and cauliflower.
- Pour into casserole.
- In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter on High for 1 minute or until melted; stir in bread crumbs. Sprinkle over vegetable mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
vintage Betty Crocker recipe
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 680mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g
Please note that nutrition is not guaranteed accurate.
Friday Holiday Side Dish Recipes:
- Brown Sugar Baked Beans with Bacon and Jalapenos from Our Good Life
- Cauliflower & Carrot Gratin from An Affair from the Heart
- Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Creamy Onion Green Bean Casserole from Palatable Pastime
- Deviled Potatoes from A Little Fish in the Kitchen
- Hasselback Potato Gratin from Sweet Beginnings
- Homemade Sausage and Herb Stuffing Recipe from Blogghetti
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Orange-Glazed Green Beans and Butternut Squash from The Spiffy Cookie
- Pumpkin Biscuits with Sage Butter from Art of Natural Living
- Roasted Artichoke Hearts from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Stovetop Spicy Sweet Potatoes from Magical Ingredients
- Sweet and Spicy Roasted Broccoli from A Day in the Life on the Far