This gluten free cauliflower cheese is delicious, rich and comforting. It's a great way to enjoy cauliflower, either with a roast, or as a light lunch. And this version is lower in fat, gluten free, and really easy to make!
Why try this recipe?
*High in nutrients*
Cauliflower is a super healthy ingredient. There's not many white foods that are good for you, but cauliflower is one of them! It's part of the brassica family, and a great source of B vitamins, vitamin C and fibre. It is also rich in a number of other antioxidants which have proven health benefits (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cauliflower) However, it's not always easy to get kids - or adults - to eat plain cauliflower. Smothering cauliflower in cheese sauce seems to solve that problem! It's a great way to add a delicious extra portion of one of your five-a-day.
*Lower in fat*
This cheese sauce is lower in fat than a traditional sauce made with a roux. There's no butter or cream, and the base can be made with skimmed milk.
*Gluten free *
Using cornflour for the sauce is an easy way to make a gluten free cauliflower cheese. Cornflour, also known as cornstarch, is made from maize which contains no gluten.
*Quick and easy*
Cornflour is incredibly easy to use in a sauce - you can simply add the cornflour and milk together, bring them to a simmer and you'll end up with a silky smooth sauce. This gluten free cauliflower cheese recipe can be made from start to finish in 20 minutes.
A whole cauliflower will serve 4 people. Cauliflower is super easy to prepare, and you can use the leaves as well. The fresh green colour will make the dish look more appetising, and the leaves will add an even wider range of nutrients. Cauliflower leaves are mild tasting, and have a fleshy base which is similar to pak choi.
Milk. You can use any kind of milk for this gluten free cauliflower cheese recipe. I prefer to use skimmed milk as you'll get a rich creamy taste and texture from the cheese. You could also use a non dairy alternative if you prefer.
Cornflour. In the US and some other countries, this is known as cornstarch. It's a very fine white powder which is used for thickening sauces. Note that is is not the same ingredient as the type of corn flour or corn meal which is used to make tortillas and cornbread.
Mature cheddar cheese. Use a really strong flavoured cheddar to give a much better tasting cheesy sauce.
Seasoning. I like to include mustard powder as well as salt and pepper for added flavour. If you don't have mustard powder, you could use a teaspoon of Dijon mustard instead. Cheese is naturally quite salty, so be careful not be add too much salt.
How to make gluten free cauliflower cheese
Prepare the cauliflower first so that it can cook whilst you make the sauce. Discard any wilted leaves. Remove the remaining leaves and cut into even sized pieces. Cut off the thick main stalk from the cauliflower and separate the florets. Halve the very largest florets through the stalk so that they are roughly the same size.
Place the cauliflower florets in a large pan, stalks downwards. Add about an inch of boiling water. The stalks will be in the water, and the top of the florets will cook in the steam. Cover with a lid. Bring up to the boil, and after a couple of minutes, add the leaves to the pan. Simmer for a further 4-5 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender. Drain well.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add the cornflour, milk and seasoning to a cold pan, and stir well. Place on a medium heat, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken - simmer gently for a minute to cook the cornflour, then remove from the heat. Add 50 g of the grated cheese and stir until melted.
Place the cauliflower in a baking dish and top with the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 25 g of cheese, and place under a hot grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this gluten free cauliflower cheese recipe is great for meal prep. Assemble the cauliflower cheese and store in the fridge for up to a day. Then cook in a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 30 minutes.
I prefer not to freeze this recipe. It can go a little watery when frozen, which can spoil the taste and the texture. For the same reason, I think it's best to use fresh cauliflower rather than frozen.
Yes, absolutely. Simmer the broccoli in a small amount of water for 5 minutes and follow the rest of the recipe.
Other healthy cauliflower recipes
Gluten Free Cauliflower Cheese
- 1 whole cauliflower
- 450 ml milk skimmed or wholemilk, dairy or non dairy
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- ½ teaspoon dried mustard powder or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pinch of pepper, and salt if required
- 75 g mature cheddar cheese, grated
- Prepare the cauliflower. Discard any wilted leaves. Remove the remaining leaves and cut into even sized pieces. Cut the curd of the cauliflower into florets, discarding the central main stalk. Cut the largest florets in half through the stalk so that they are all roughly the same size.
- Place the cauliflower in a large pan with the stalk at the bottom. Add about an inch of boiling water so that the stalks are covered and the top of the floret is out of the water. Cover the pan and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the leaves on top of the florets. Put the lid back on. Simmer for a further 4-5 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Add the cornflour, seasoning and cold milk to a cold pan. Stir well, and place on a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. As the sauce comes to the boil, it will thicken up. Simmer for a minute, continuing to stir. Turn off the heat and add 50 g of the cheese. Stir until melted.
- Preheat the grill.
- Place the cauliflower in a baking dish. Top with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle over the remaining 25 g grated cheese. Grill for 3-4 minutes until golden and bubbling.
- Add seasoning to taste. As cheese is naturally quite salty, you may not need extra salt.
- If you want to prepare the recipe ahead of time, assemble the dish and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Cook the cauliflower cheese in the oven rather than the grill so that it has time to heat through properly. Cook for 30 minutes at 190 degrees (170 fan).
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only