April 27, 2012

Easy Cauliflower au Gratin Casserole

A little mashed, some whole florets, all baked with a cheese gratin . . .

What else could I want?

I don't care what you do to it, I have yet to find a honest recipe for making cauliflower take on the texture of creamy mashed potatoes. Oh yeah, the one with a whopping bowl of thick cheesy b├ęchamel binding it all together is pretty darn good, but no way is it like eating a bowl of starchy thick, elastic mashed potatoes. The thing about trying to make mashed cauliflower behave like such means adding a ton of calories and fat yet without the desired result of a healthier side dish.

Well, for this recipe, I am forgoing the textural desire and going for taste all within keeping down calories and fat, a little. This recipe got a B+ from Calorie Count.

My Good Better-for-You Cauliflower Gratin
serves 8

6-8 cups cauliflower florets, 1 large head
3 garlic toes, crushed and minced
3 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon reduced fat cream cheese spread with chives
1/3 cup low fat small curd cottage cheese
pinch of cayenne if desired
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/4 cup natural mild shredded cheese
few grinds of the pepper mill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Steam the florets over boiling water covered for about 5-6 minutes. Remove half of the florets to a bowl and continue steaming remaining for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Remove and place on towel to drain.

In a 2-quart flat bottom casseroled dish, mash the fully cooked portion of the florets with the garlic, margarine, cream cheese, cottage cheese, cayenne and bouillon until desired texture mixing well. Fold in the celery, basil and nestle in the remaining florets. Bake covered for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with the cheese and bake another 5 minutes uncovered or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Note: I have made this twice within a 2 week period, that is how much we liked it. Though I left the above recipe as I first wrote it, the last time, I returned it to the oven while the temperature was off and left it in the oven to dry out a bit. The first time seemed a little too moist. If any one has a way to thicken the sauce without adding calories, please let me know...

Find the Nutritional Facts here.


  1. You did make this healthy! I love the idea of having this and not feeling bloated. Not sure how to thicken it up without the calories - wondering if it is necessary. What's nice here is the cauliflower is not smothered.

  2. This is a very healthy dish to eat. I'm up to eating healthy these days. Having veggies is light and refreshing. Hope to find more like this. =)

  3. Healthly and perfect for our patio meals. This is for me. By the way, when I made your bean recipe it inspired my friend Rita to try them and she gave you a shout out as you are the original poster of that recipe. Here is her link, We are famous :-)

  4. Wow healthy, delicious, and comfort in one dish...Well done!

  5. That is one good healthy way of serving Cauliflower.love to find vegetable recipes to serve when BBQ times comes around.

  6. This is comfort at it's best! twice in two weeks, a sign of a great dish!

  7. Playing catch up and glad I didnt miss this one! Looks sensational with all the cheese I like that is is mashed a little, gets into all the parts of that cauliflower... great recipe!

  8. Hmm, I am stumped about your sauce question, but it seems like your solution did the trick? Cauliflower is highly underrated, this sounds yummy and not too guilt inducing!! : )

  9. There's nothing like cauliflower and cheese. One of life's little pleasures... :=)