Kid-Friendly Recipes/ Vegetable Sides/ Vegetarian Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin

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Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin is a simple Italian recipe for cauliflower dipped in extra virgin olive oil then coated with a mixture of bread crumbs and cheese, and roasted for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.  Nothing fancy, but it makes cauliflower SO delicious – it bursts with flavor! 


The cheese helps give its flavorful crust on the outside while keeping the vegetable moist on the inside.  With this recipe, cauliflower always turns out flavorful, light, and tasty. 

It’s a great way to get the family, especially the kids and even the picky eaters to eat cauliflower!



Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin by

No need to add salt or pepper with this recipe, the pecorino cheese, and cayenne pepper give enough flavor to this dish. 

Best of all, it’s low calorie and low in fat! 

This delicious side dish will pair very nicely with any of our seafood and chicken dishes, including our chicken with Dijon wine cream sauce and our baked flounder filet oreganata, just to name a few.



What does “Au Gratin” mean in cooking?

In cooking, the term “au gratin” refers to a dish that is baked with a topping of seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese.  The au gratin topping should be golden brown, which can be achieved by baking, roasting, or by placing the dish under a broiler. 

So why not make it with CAULIFLOWER, right?  And that’s just what we did here! 



Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin by


This recipe for cauliflower au gratin is an easy way to cook cauliflower. 

Plus, it makes a great side dish that will complement almost anything.  It works perfectly with meats, seafood, and poultry. 

This is an old family recipe from our mom who is not a professional chef.  But, she did actually learn her culinary skills from watching professional chefs cook in their kitchens while living with our dad (as newlyweds) in Capri, Italy.

So for now, her simple tips about cooking are the ones we love sharing with you!



Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin by


More of our Moms Ideas and Tips For Success: 

  • Boiling the cauliflower with bay leaves helps eliminate the gas from the vegetable. 

  • When our mom buys cauliflower, she brings it home and immediately cords and boils or steams it until al-dente.  Then she stores it in an air-tight container.  Kept refrigerated, it’s ready for any of her dishes she decides to make that week. 

  • She also recommends never overcook the cauliflower, it can get mushy very quickly unless you plan to use it in soups!  Just sayin’

  • Use the best quality of grated cheese!  For this recipe, we prefer grated Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese.  If you use other brands from shelves, they are not good, basically selling a mixture of sawdust.

  • Also, if you run out of olive oil while dipping, and you need extra, pour a small amount as needed.  And, don’t waste it!  If you have any extra virgin olive oil remaining in the bowl, drizzle it over the cauliflower before it bakes. 



Easy Steps To Make Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin:

1.  First, you will need to boil the whole cauliflower for a few minutes,  until a fork can be poked through.  Do not overcook, cauliflower should be al-dente.  

2.  Drain, let it cool for a few minutes.

3.  Using your hands, gently break the cauliflower apart into medium florets.
Discard the cord.


Ingredients shown for this recipe. by


4.  Grab 2 bowls to work with.  One medium bowl to mix together bread crumbs, grated cheese, and cayenne pepper.  And a second small bowl for the olive oil for dipping.

5.  Take each cauliflower floret and gently dip into the olive oil, then gently roll into the bread crumb mixture, until well coated.

6.  Place prepared cauliflower florets onto a baking dish.  Then bake or roast until golden brown.  Remove and serve.

That’s it!


More Tasty Recipes for Cauliflower! 


Yield: 4 to 6

Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin`

Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin`

Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin is a simple Italian recipe for cauliflower dipped in extra virgin olive oil then coated with a mixture of bread crumbs and cheese, and roasted for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Nothing fancy, but it makes cauliflower SO delicious - it bursts with flavor!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 1 medium Cauliflower -rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • olive oil cooking spray


  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees ( 200 C). Spray a (10 x 12) baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, add the entire cauliflower and fill with water until leveled. Add the bay leaves and cover with a lid.
  3. Boil the cauliflower to boil, for about 3 to 5 minutes, until you can poke a fork through, but DO NOT overcook the cauliflower, it should be very al-dente.
  4. Drain the cauliflower, and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Using your hands, gently break the cauliflower apart into medium florets. Discard the cord
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together bread crumbs, grated cheese, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, pour the olive oil for dipping.
  8. Take each cauliflower floret and gently dip into the olive oil, then gently roll into the bread crumb mixture, until well coated.
  9. Place prepared cauliflower florets onto a baking dish.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Or, roast at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes for a crunchier crust. Remove and serve.
  11. Serves 4 to 6


 …Thanks for Pinning!

Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin by


Our mom’s roasted cauliflower au gratin was one of the first recipes we posted when we first started our blog.  The recipe and content are the same, but we finally got around to updating the photos, and so glad we did. 

If you try our roasted cauliflower au gratin, make sure to give it 5 stars in the recipe card above!  Leave a comment as well.  Sharing your experience and insights will not only help those who read them, but will help us too!   

You may snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram, and tag us @2sistersrecipes, and on Pinterest.  We’d love to see what you cook and share your photos with the world!  ๐Ÿ™‚

Plus, NEVER MISS our Recipes! …enter your email in our “SUBSCRIBE BOX” and receive them FREE every time we post a new recipe, and reminders of some great older ones too!

Happy Cooking!

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna and Liz

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  • Reply
    January 22, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    That makes cauliflower look so much more interesting as it does tend to be a rather bland vegetable!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      January 23, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you Sandra and we agree on that! This recipe is a keeper! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you will get to try it!

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    April 11, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Great ideas. Moms know it all, don't they?

    • Reply
      April 14, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      They really do! We are so blessed to have a mother in our lives.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Thank you Tricia! We know you will love this recipe ad much ad we do. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    April 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Your mom is so smart! To think I was going to steam some cauliflower for dinner – I would rather have this creation! Lovely – have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Thank you Candace, we hope you our mom's version of cauliflower.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    My friend's Italian grandmother used to make the tastiest cauliflower and I have been craving it for years. She fried hers though. This recipe looks so much like hers and that I simply must make this soon. Thank YOU! I have "pinned" this on Pinterest so that I don't lose your recipe.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      March 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Hello Candace! I wanted to reach out to you and let you know I have updated our photos and pins for Pinterest. I hope you will be able to Pin the new photo to replace the old one. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    nancy at good food matters
    July 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    These toasty florets look so delicious–nice way to dress up cauliflower

    and, thanks for the great tip about cooking w/ bay leaf–I will do that next time.

  • Reply
    Cooking Creation
    July 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Once this heat wave subsides, I am definitely making this. We are huge cauliflower lovers here!

  • Reply
    July 28, 2011 at 12:50 am

    What a lovely place to reside as newly weds; looking forward to seeing all your italian inspired recipes.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    July 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Delicious, simple and beautiful and i love cauliflower so this is such a great way to mix things up a bit.

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    July 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

    This sounds absolutely delicious, and so easy too! I must try this.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    July 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    This is a super recipe, I love the flavors – it's amazing to me that cauliflower can be SO awful if cooked wrong and SO incredibly delicious if cooked right – like this!

  • Reply
    July 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    This is a really great recipe. And its baked not fried, more convenient. I will be buying some cauli this week to try.

  • Leave a Reply

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