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Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

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As autumn grows closer, our side dishes change from light to more hearty. This cheesy Cauliflower Bacon Gratin is perfect when there’s a chill in the air, both comforting and delicious!

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

I’ve gotten my picky family to eat roasted cauliflower by coating the florets with Parmesan and bread crumbs and popping them in the oven until crispy.  So I was reasonably optimistic that they’d at least take a courtesy bite of Dorie Greenspan’s creamy, cheesy, bacon spiked gratin.

The first time I made this lovely side dish, I was an instant fan, but the rest of the family gave this cauliflower bacon gratin the cold shoulder. Bill gave it an OK rating, but was definitely not enamored with this side dish. I was willing to give it another try. Worst case scenario, I’d have to eat all 10 servings myself. The sacrifices I make!

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

Round 2 Results

Well, what do you know. I didn’t mention to Bill that this was the second go around for this gratin, seven years later, to be exact. Surprisingly, his tune has changed and the hubby was a huge fan. He seriously loved this cauliflower gratin, especially the real bacon strips strewn across the top. Maybe his palate is finally maturing!

The cream, eggs, flour and Gruyere puffed in the oven to form a rich and elegant base for the cauliflower pieces. Rustic and beautiful, this dish would be perfect on a holiday buffet or for a weekend side dish. I even ate the leftovers cold. That tells you something, doesn’t it???

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole

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Cauliflower Bacon Gratin | Comforting cheesy cauliflower casserole
Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

Cauliflower Bacon Gratin

 Cauliflower Bacon Gratin: a rich, cheesy side dish flavored with bacon!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 10


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 pound of bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with  parchment paper. Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and place on the baking sheet.

Cut the cauliflower into florets,  leaving about an inch or so of stem. Drop the florets into salted, boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander,then run cold water over cauliflower to cool. Pat dry.

Add the bacon strips into a skillet and cook over medium heat just until the bacon is browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

Place the cauliflower in the prepared pan, and top with the bacon bits.

Put the flour in a bowl and gradually whisk in the eggs. When the flour and eggs are blended, whisk in the cream and milk. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir in about two thirds of the cheese. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower, then top with the remaining cheese.

Bake the gratin for about 25 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top needs more browning, place under the broiler for a minute or two, watching carefully.


Dorie's tips:

  • Recipe is best served warm on the day it is made, but it can also be served at room temperature, like a quiche.
  • You may use ham cubes instead of bacon, add other vegetables or even herbs.
  • If you have leftovers, reheat gently in the microwave after bringing to room temperature.
  • This also makes a wonderful entree, served with a green salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 142mg Sodium: 340mg Carbohydrates: 7g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 12g


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83 comments on “Cauliflower Bacon Gratin”

  1. Looks delicious. Pat

  2. Mmm..This sounds delish and I love gruyere. I hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with much joy and happiness!

  3. I love the looks of this dish.And anything is better with bacon! Bookmarking to try soon.
    Have a happy and healthy New Year.

  4. It looks so delicous, Lizzy!

    Here’s wishing you and your family a blessed and joyous new year! I’m so glad that we crossed paths in our blogging journey…

  5. I don’t eat meat, but love everything else here! My kids however would go nuts for the bacon addition 🙂
    Wishing you a perfect 2012 Lizzy!

  6. Because everything is better with bacon… YUM! Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year! I’ve really enjoyed cooking with you in 2011 and am looking forward to reading about all your experiences in 2012! Another winning dish from your kitchen!

  8. Happy New year dear Lizzy:))

  9. I love cauliflower and this would a great sub for potatoes!

  10. Happy new year to you.
    Your photos look great. We also loved the dish.

  11. Oh man this is something that I would absolutely LOVE! It sounds so good, I’m a huge fan of cauliflower & bacon of course but who isn’t?! Delish!!

  12. It’s funny how tastes change! Cauliflower cheese, which is similar, was something I remember well as a child – love the bacon on top.

  13. this would gone in 60 seconds in my house YUM!

  14. Ooooh!!! Now this is a cauliflower recipe I think my whole family would enjoy!!!
    It sounds delicious, I think you had me at bacon 😉

  15. This is lovely Liz! Wanna try it soon! Great pics and love that you created a NFL label

  16. This looks absolutely delicious!

  17. This does sound wonderful Liz and perfect for fall & winter. My family isn’t big on cauliflower either but I think they’d change their minds if they tried this.

  18. This looks like an awesomely decadent side dish. So holiday worthy.

  19. love this recipe ! We love cauliflower here !

  20. This sounds absolutely fantastic to me.

  21. Wow! Love to dig into the casserole, dear! xoxo

  22. This sounds amazing, I wonder if ~my~ picky eater would try it:@)

  23. Wow this looks fabulous! I love everything from the bacon to the gruyere cheese. You make it look so pretty too!

  24. I love this as an alternative to potatoes au gratin- has a similar comfort-feel to it- and bacon, well….love that!

  25. Seriously, this is the way to make cauliflower if you want your family to get some good veggies in their system that everyone would love for sure! I would be like you, eat all 10 servings myself, that made me laugh…LOL! Pinning!!!

  26. This is the perfect fall side dish! With bacon and gruyere, it’s easy to see why this is a crowd pleaser! 🙂

  27. I think I just found a new side dish for all the festivities in the upcoming months. This Cauliflower Bacon Gratin sounds amazing!! It’s a perfect accompaniment to any meal! Pinning.

  28. I don’t tend to associate cauliflower with comfort food but this sure is a great hearty dish!

  29. This sounds just plain heavenly, Liz!! I’m not sure I’ll share this when I make it 🙂

  30. Fantastic Liz~!!! I wish you would write a book. You do so many wonderful things. I’m grateful you share with all of us~!! Thanks~!!!

  31. Awesome! Just awesome! We’re raving about this Liz:):) Immediately pinned and of course, will also try it with local cheeses (like Naxos graviera – you should try it if available in the States, highly recommended) as well. Thanx so much for the FANTASTIC recipe dear!

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