Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is easy to make  gluten-free adaptable, can be made ahead, and  perfect for the holiday table! UPDATED 12/2019
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free- adaptable, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish
At the center of trust, we find surrender. 
Pierro Ferrucci – The Power of Kindness
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Garlic and Sage is tasty vegetarian side dish that can be coupled with almost any main. In catering we often pair it with wintery roasts, roasted chicken, braised beef short-ribs and even salmon.
Think of this as a substitute for your starch, like mashed potatoes or rice. At home, I sometimes serve this as our vegetarian “main”,  alongside a big green salad and call it dinner.  For a more rustic, family style dinner it can be made and baked in a cast-iron skillet.  Or for a more formal affair, elevate it by serving it in individual ramekins like we do when catering (see below).
It’s a simple dish to make, full of hearty flavors – and will convert even the most die hard cauliflower skeptics. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. Also, this recipe can easily be made ahead, and can be made vegetarian and totally gluten-free.
Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish

Here I use lots of garlic, fresh sage, and caramelized onions which give the cauliflower gratin depth and flavor.

Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish
Today I’ve used two medium heads of cauliflower. When chopping the cauliflower, chop into similar sized, bite size pieces. This will ensure pieces are cut roughly the same size and will cook at the same speed.
Roast in a 400 F oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. (You could also steam, in a steamer basket– see notes)

Sauté the onions and the garlic. Sometimes I’ll double the garlic for an extra boost. Add the sage.

Make the creamy béchamel sauce.

I use 2 % milk instead of cream and have cut down on the cheese for this recipe.

When the cauliflower is roasted until tender, combine with the bechamel sauce in a greased  baking dish or ovenproof skillet.
If you have meat-eaters to please, feel free to add crispy pancetta or bacon to the top for a little smokiness.
Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish

Sometimes, for added texture,  I’ll add breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping. This is optional.

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free- adaptable, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish

Blend up day-old bread with fresh sage, fresh garlic, a pinch of salt and some olive oil or melted butter.  Sprinkle over the top.

Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish

This is completely optional, and leave it out if going gluten-free. Or use GF bread!
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free- adaptable, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish
In our catering business, we would often bake these in little individual ramekins, and place them on each plate. Just trying to give you options! 🙂

However you choose to serve this Cauliflower Gratin, it’s pretty hard to resist!

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free- adaptable, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish
I’ve updated this recipe recently to roasting the cauliflower beforehand, instead of steaming it, because sometimes with steaming it becomes a little watery.
Hope you enjoy this Roasted Cauliflower Gratin- a beautiful addition to your holiday table.
Cheers and love!
xo
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Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious vegetarian side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free- adaptable, perfect for the holiday table! #cauliflower #cauliflowergratin #lowcarbside #sidedish #lowcarb #keto #thanksgivingside #christmassidedish

Cauliflower Gratin with Garlic and Sage


Description

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with garlic and sage, a delicious side dish that is keto, low carb and gluten-free, perfect for the holiday table! Vegetarian or add bacon or pancetta. Updated Dec 2019.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 medium cauliflower heads (about 10 cups, 20 ounces florets)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • ——–
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, diced or sub 2 fat shallots)
  • 68 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage (or 2 teaspoons dry sage, or sub rosemary or thyme)

Bechamel Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gf flour)
  • 2 cups milk, hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh grated is nice)
  • 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese- (or mozzarella -plus 3 Tablespoons for the top)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino

Optional Additions:

  • 1/4 cup crispy bacon bits, or crispy pancetta
  • 1/4 cup vegan “bacon bits”
  • bread crumb topping (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Roast the Cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into bite-size pieces, toss with olive oil (just enough to lightly coat) salt and pepper and place on one (or two) parchment-lined sheet pans ( in a single layer) and bake until fork tender and golden, about 25-35 minutes.
  3. Saute the onions: In an extra large skillet saute the onion over med- high heat in olive oil until tender and fragrant, stirring often, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sage and lower heat to medium and sauté 3-4 minutes, until fragrant, season with salt and pepper.   Take your time here and make sure onion and garlic are golden and tender. Set aside.
  4. Make the Bechamel Sauce: In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir until butter just begins to become golden and becomes nutty and fragrant. Add flour. Stir and cook flour for at least 1 minute. Whisk in ½ C hot milk making sure to whisk all the flour from the corners and sides of the pot. Add another ½ C milk, whisking well. Add the final cup of milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and just comes to a simmer. Turn heat to low and whisk in cheese and set aside.
  5. Assemble:  Use a greased, oven-proof 10 inch cast iron skillet,  8×11 inch baking dish or greased individual ramekins. Toss the roasted cauliflower with the Bechamel sauce and onions/garlic/ sage mixture. Taste for salt and pepper, adjusting to your liking.
  6.  Top with optional bread crumbs (see notes), optional crispy bacon or pancetta  (or vegan bacon bits) a few sage leaves or a little more cheese.  You could refrigerate this overnight at this point if making ahead (perhaps not in the cast iron). If refrigerating, be sure to bring to room temp before baking.
  7. Lower heat to 375 F and bake uncovered in the oven,  until golden and bubbly, about 20-25  minutes.

Notes

To make bread the crumbs: In a food processor, pulse 2 slices day old bread with one clove garlic, a few sage leaves, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. ( Or simply toss bread crumbs with olive oil and and salt)

You can also steam the florets in a steamer basket instead of roasting- but be sure not to overcook. Al dente is BEST. 

This can be made ahead, but I would bake it before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: -Using 2% milk, no bacon, and no breadcrumbs
  • Calories: 211
  • Sugar: 10.8 g
  • Sodium: 371.4 mg
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.3 g
  • Fiber: 5.6 g
  • Protein: 11.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 26.8 mg

Keywords: roasted cauliflower gratin, easy cauliflower gratin, , cauliflower gratin, cauliflower side dish, vegetarian cauliflower recipe, best cauliflower gratin recipe, healthy cauliflower recipe

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  1. Very good. Agree that this would make a great holiday side dish. We, however, used it as an entree along with some garden Brussel sprouts. As expected, it took much longer than the instructed 20-25 minutes to roast the cauliflower. Allowing for the timing differences, followed the recipe as written, including some sourdough garlic & sage bread crumbs. Yum!

    1. Thanks Mary! I appreciate this-very helpful! I adjusted the recipe card to increase the heat a bit and lengthen the time.

  2. To add color & variety of nutrients to the dish, was thinking of doing half broccoli. Maybe sprinkling with fresh parsley or? Thought I may use for T-giving side. Thank you!

  3. Awesome recipe! Very satisfying and comforting – the flavors were wonderful. I paired this with a roast chicken. I will definitely make many times again. I love your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Just an FYI, don’t try to print this recipe. I clicked on the print button, and it started printing all 34 pages! I ended up coping it and pasted it into a document. Hopefully there is a way to fix that :-).

  5. I couldn’t figure out why mine was so runny — in my hurry – forgot to drain. SUPER IMPORTANT. It was actually delicious and looked really nice (with the bacon on top) but once you started scooping – looked awful. However, very tasty! I’m wondering … have you ever steamed the cauliflower and kept the fried onions and garlic separate and then added after? I was wondering how that would taste?

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, you could absolutely keep onions and garlic separate, and add to the top with the bacon- it would taste great!

  6. This looks outstanding! Gorgeous and just full of healthy ingredients! I can see how it would absolutely convert even people who staunchly believed they didn’t like cauliflower! I just discovered your blog from your lovely recipe over on Cooking Quinoa, and I’m so happy I did! What wonderful recipes and beautiful, beautiful photos – so much inspiration here! Pinning this recipe quick, quick! 😀

  7. Made this tonight, and it was delicious AND beautiful. The only thing I’d change is to add to the directions, be sure the cauliflower steams off any excess water before you add the cheese sauce at the end. Mine was just a touch runnier than I wanted. By the way, using mozzarella and Parmesan, 3 slices of bacon, and 1% milk (which still made a wonderful rich sauce), it is 6 weight watcher points per serving. Score!

  8. This looks absolutely fabulous. I have a head of cauliflower in my fridge right now. Definitely going to have to make it this weekend!

  9. This looks absolutely fabulous! I have a head of cauliflower in my fridge right now. Going to have to whip this up this weekend!

  10. This looks incredible! I have really taken a liking to cauliflower lately, and I want to try this for sure. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Quite an awesome recipe indeed!! I just love studying cauliflower gratin and garlic, sage recipe and that dinning table is also seems great as well. Great photography for happy Thanksgiving day arrangements!!

  12. Oh my gosh, this looks so amazing! What a perfect, seasonal side; I can’t wait to try it :]

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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