plant based cauliflower gratin

Cauliflower Gratin

A Classic French Gratin is Perfect for Winter Feasts

Yes, Virginia, vegetables are even better with a creamy sauce.

If you want to convince a kid (or not veggie-friendly adult) to eat their veggies, make a bechamel and cover the veg with creamy goodness. In this gratin, we channel the wisdom of French chefs since time immemorial and whisk up a rich sauce, then blanket our veg with it and run it under the broiler to give it a toasty browned top.

High Heat for Sweet Cauliflower

To make it even more delectable, we’ll roast the cauliflower in a hot oven until it is browned and tender, to really sweeten and concentrate the flavor. Cauliflower is the belle of the ball right now, and deservedly so. It’s being fried into wings, and pulped into pizza crust, so maybe it’s time to do something a little more OG. Cauliflower gratin would go well with everything from a hearty bean soup to a veggie burger, so bookmark this one. For your big holiday feast, or any time you want a hearty side. This will please everyone. Really. It’s that good!

Cauliflower Gratin

Course Side Dish
Keyword cauliflower, gratin
Servings 6
Author Robin Asbell


  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot cut in spears
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon plant-based butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped


  • Preheat oven to 425. Cut cauliflower in large florets, and place in a large roasting pan. Add the shallot, then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and roast, covered, for 20 minutes, then stir and roast for 15 minutes longer.
  • While the cauliflower roasts, make the sauce. In a 2 quart pot, melt the non-dairy butter over medium heat. Take off the heat and whisk in the flour until smooth. Place over the heat and stir until the flour is sizzling and fragrant. Take off the heat and whisk in the milk gradually, whisking until very smooth after each addition.
  • Add the salt, nutmeg, Dijon and stir. Bring to a simmer, whisking. When it starts to bubble drop in the rosemary and stir. Cook for a minute, whisking, then take off the heat.


  • Switch the oven to broil.
    Transfer the cauliflower to a casserole or gratin pan, the drizzle the sauce over it, making sure it's all covered.
    Broil until the sauce is lightly browned on top.
    Sprinkle with parsley and serve.