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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

More Gratin Recipes You’ll Love:

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. Yours looks perfect! My family loved this and John thought it would be perfect to serve at a holiday meal although there was too much on the Christmas menu to squeeze it in. I hope you and your family have a fabulous New Year’s, Lizzy!

  2. This looks wonderful. Out of all vegetables that my teen and husband both like it is Cauliflower, so I will be happy to make this dish! My Husband will probably want to marry it when I throw in bacon! He’s a little obsessed with bacon! Happy New Year’s Lizzy!

  3. I would simply love this dish Lizzy because we eat cauliflower like very often. I will not mind eating the leftovers for why waste good food???

    However, for us its more of stir fried but sure trying this recipe you have shared will be a great one too.

  4. That sounded so good. How can anyone not eat it? Happy New Year to you and your family. Hugs.

  5. What a great combo of flavors here, great side dish for any entree! Hope you and your beautiful family have a fabulous 2012

  6. Call me crazy but cauliflower is my FAVORITE cooked veggie! Roasted or boiled and doused in cheese sauce or coated in parmesan and bread crumbs…so this has to be good!

  7. Love this dish so much – it’s our family classic but nobody ever seems to get tired of it – especially as there’s always a fight to scrape the dish at the end!

    Here’s to many more of your delicious bubbling gratins like this, Liz, and countless heavenly chocolatey treats. Wishing you the best ever New Year ahead full of fun adventures!

  8. I love cauliflowers dear Lizzy llok delicious! 🙂

  9. mmm I make cauliflower gratin almost once every week 🙂 I love it, but I make it without bacon off course, just sour cream, eggs and cauliflower…mmmm…. I actually have pics of my dish but always forget to post them 🙂

  10. I came late to cauliflower-love and now it is on my winter menu twice a week. This is so beautifully decadent – so oo la la French!

  11. Looks fabulous! I love the smaller size dishes, and gratineed anything is lovely.

  12. i don’t eat bacon but these looks yummy 🙂

  13. I’ve only tried the potato version, need to try this.
    This can also be a great way to hide bacon and feed to vegetarians:)

  14. This looks like a delicious side for a cold winter night.

  15. This is very similar to the cauliflower gratin that my mom makes every Christmas and we DEVOUR it. I like the addition of the bacon (who wouldn’t?).

    Sorry that the others weren’t bowled over by this, but it does look delicious!

    Happy New Year!

  16. We loved it but won’t be having it too often, we’ll stick to plain ole roasted cauliflower for everyday. Happy New Year Lizzy!

  17. I love that is will make me feel a lot less guilty about eating bacon and cheese! well done 🙂

  18. Our family loves this one – but how can anyone resist the charm of bacon 🙂
    Happy New Year, Liz!

  19. We loved it too! It’s a tad rich for everyday fare but great for a special dinner. Happy New Year Lizzy;-)

  20. Gratin is a wonderful comfort food for us. I will have to try your cauliflower version. Yumm!

  21. You get a double, triple, quadruple YES for this one. You know my affinity for bacon gratins. What a lovely twist!

  22. I’m excited to make this with other veggies! Happy New Year Lizzy!!!!

  23. My family LOVES cauliflower with cheese sauce. Adding bacon really kicks it up a notch. Oh dear, now I’m really hungry for this dish. Best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy New Year.

  24. Looks delicious, thanks for sharing the recipe!

  25. As a cauliflower fan, I think it looks wonderful! Might substitute something else for the bacon, but I bet it would be just as good without since all the cheese provides so much flavor.

  26. It’s hard to go wrong with bacon! Thanks for sharing the link to the recipe!

  27. This looks like a perfect side to serve with a ham or roast. happy new year!

  28. I, too, had a serving cold and it was delicious! Yours looks quite tasty.

  29. I have to do something like this sans bacon.Your gratin looks good and I am sure it would taste good ,too.

  30. I loved this one too. Who wouldn’t like cauliflower in its puffy souffle? I’ve enjoyed cooking with you this year, Lizzy! Happy New Year!

  31. We loved this one but knew it ahead of time. I made it last year and have made it many times since. Cheesy comfort food with bacon – right up my family’s alley 🙂 And your photos are lovely – as usual. Happy New Year !

  32. Lizzy…..for me , it is good especially the burnt melted cheese topping and the extra mixed herbs flavor…yummy! Your gratin looks good . I can imagine the taste…bread crumbs and parmesan coated cauliflower…wow…it must be delicious ! Beautiful presentation as usual. Here is me wishing you and family a happy 2012 , a year of happiness and fabulous food and good health all the year through. Looking forward to cooking along with you in the new year 🙂

  33. Looks fabulous :), Happy New Year!! Mriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  34. This is beautiful, Liz! Your presentation is stunning and I LOVE this recipe!

  35. I would be more inclined to eat this if it had some meat. 😛

  36. This looks so delicious!
    Love your blog!
    Nice finding you!
    Visit me at:

    Happy New Year!

  37. This would convert any cauliflower naysayer! The cheese and bacon take it to the next level. Happy New Year Liz and thank you for being so kind and generous.

  38. It looks fantastic! I love cauliflower even raw or barely blanched on its own. I know however so many people who hate it and I’m sure such a gratin would convince even the strongest cauliflower haters 😉
    Happy New Year!

  39. Your photos are terrific and this looks like a perfect side dish for any meal.Happy Healthy New Year Liz to you and your family!

  40. Happy New Year to you and everyone at home Lizzy, including the little doggie. God bless and until our next post, keep in touch.

  41. Lizzy another amazing dish from an amazing lady! I am so very happy I got to know you this year. 🙂 Have a wonderful, happy and blessed New Year!! All the very best to you in 2012!!! ~ Ramona

  42. I love cauliflower, this looks like such a perfect way to make it! Delicious.

  43. looking forward to more food porn in 2012 🙂

  44. I use to eat something similar to this when living in Germany. Oh so good.

    Have a Happy New Year!

  45. Wow , I would love to try this gratin. Cauliflower and gruyere, how perfect!

  46. At first cauliflower was not very appealing, however I have come to like it very much. The key is in the preparation. This one does have some delicious ingredients, so I am sure this would be welcome in our house. Great pictures-yum!

  47. My husband just found a similar recipe in his Vegetarian Times magazine (minus the bacon, of course). I can’t wait to try it! I personally love cauliflower–my dad used to make a cream sauce to put over it with nutmeg sprinkled on it. Thanks for bringing us this version.

    Happy New Year, Liz!

  48. Love cauliflower, I do, just about any way. I have to admit, though, creaming it up like this is very appealing!
    Happy new year to you, Lizzy!

  49. I’ve made Ina Garten’s version…hers didn’t have bacon, and everything is better with bacon.

  50. I love gratins, this one sounds so interesting and unique. Yum! Happy new year, Liz!

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