Rich, creamy, and loaded with irresistible bacon and sharp cheddar, this easy Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon is the perfect dish to serve at cozy gatherings, holiday potlucks, or even a weeknight meal.

bite of bacon gratin

Few can resist this homey Cauliflower Au Gratin with Bacon recipe, and it is always gobbled up whenever I put it out for friends and family. I love that I can make this dish ahead of time and just pop it into the oven to get all perfectly bubbly and hot. 

9x13 pan of cheesy bacon gratin with cauliflower

Bake it in a cute dish so it can go from the oven to the table, or if you’re setting up a buffet of tasty dishes, it’ll sit there and keep nice and hot in a pretty dish. Any oven-safe 9 x 13 (or similarly sized) casserole dish will work. Just set this delicious side dish out and watch it disappear! 

Why I love this recipe

  • It’s a low-carb cauliflower bacon gratin recipe, which appeals to anyone watching their carbs.
  • I love potatoes au gratin or Potato Gratin Muffin Stacks, which are similar.
  • This dish is super easy to make; partially cook the cauliflower, and add in the bacon and cheesy homemade sauce. Then, just bake and serve! 
  • Don’t forget to watch the video below for a step-by-step demonstration on how to make it.

hot cheesy gratin

Perfect for potlucks and larger groups

This recipe makes a fair bit – you’ll get 10 side dish sized portions from this recipe, so it’s a great dish for larger gatherings. I often serve this dish around the holidays because it is so pretty! If you use white cheddar, the sauce is snowy white with the red bacon peeking through. Top it with green parsley or chives, and you’ve got the perfect festive dish! 

ingredients for cauliflower bacon gratin

Gather these ingredients

  • Bacon – Cooked and chopped.
  • Cauliflower – Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Milk 
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley – Chopped
  •  

how to make cauliflower bacon gratin

How to make cauliflower gratin with bacon

  • Cook the bacon until crispy and browned, then drain it on a paper towel until needed.
  • Heat a large pot of salted water on high until boiling. Add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in the same pot, then whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk, and constantly stir until thick and creamy. 
  • Add the cheese, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the cauliflower and bacon to the cheese mixture and toss to combine. 
  • Transfer the cauliflower and cheese sauce into an oven-safe baking dish and top with bread crumbs and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Bake at 375F until bubbly and golden.
  • Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving. 

cooked cauliflower

What’s the best cheese for Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon?

You really want the cheese flavor to come through, so an extra sharp cheddar (also called old cheddar or mature cheddar around the world) works well. You can find this aged cheese in most large supermarkets or ask at the deli counter.

9x13 pan of gratin with parsley

Tips & Substitutions

  • Use good quality bacon for this cauliflower gratin recipe, and keep it in sizeable chunks, so you really get a bite of bacon flavor.
  • Fresh cauliflower works best in this recipe. Frozen and thawed cauliflower will give off too much water and will dilute your sauce.
  • Heat the milk before adding it to the flour and butter to get a smooth sauce.
  • You can use white or yellow cheese in this recipe.
  • I love Tillamook’s Extra Sharp cheddar in this recipe, but any brand is fine.
  • 1% milk is what I use for the sauce, but you can use cream if you want a richer dish.
  • For extra crunch, use Panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.

serving of cauliflower bacon gratin

Serving suggestions

This delicious Cauliflower au Gratin with Bacon recipe pairs so well with so many other dishes. Some of my favorites pairings with this side dish recipe include:

taking a bite of cauliflower bacon gratin

Storage

Any leftover Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon should be packaged in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

fork bite of cheesy gratin

Check out these awesome cauliflower recipes while you’re here

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower White Cheddar Cheese Soup

Whole Roasted Spiced Cauliflower

Oven Baked Buffalo Cauliflower

Perfect Oven Roasted Cauliflower

bite of bacon gratin
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Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon

Rich, creamy, and loaded with irresistible bacon and sharp cheddar, this easy Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon is the perfect dish to serve at cozy gatherings, holiday potlucks, or even a weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Yield: 8

Ingredients
 

  • 10 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 8 cups of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups 1 % milk, thicker sauce, use light whipping cream
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, I use Tillamook’s Extra Sharp plus a little more for topping
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy and browned. Set aside on paper towel.
  • Heat a large pot of salted water on high until boiling. Add the cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In the same pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk, and stir constantly until thick and creamy. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add the cauliflower and bacon to the cheese mixture and toss to combine. Pour into an 9×13 baking dish and top with bread crumbs and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
  • Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

Notes

This post is updated with new photos from 2018.
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

This post is updated from March 2018.

cauliflower bacon gratin