I’d like to take a minute to tell you guys a story. It’s a bit embarrassing, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago… ok- it was just a couple years ago, there was this Thanksgiving dinner. We were visiting family in Utah and I was given the assignment to bring cauliflower and broccoli.
Just to clarify, I was visiting my in-laws. So there was this overwhelming desire to impress.
My in-laws are particular about their food, (especially when it comes to Thanksgiving) things need to be a certain way. Well, cauliflower and broccoli are no exception to the rule. They need to be steamed (to the point of baby food texture), and served with a bowl of Old English Cheese goo on the side.
Being that I was not a fan of this particular style, and feeling like I needed to impress, I decided (against my husband’s wishes) to roast the cauliflower and broccoli, and serve it with my own cheese sauce.
Oh yes, this was going to be epic.
The big day came, and I chopped up all my broccoli and cauliflower. I was preparing to serve well over 30 guests, so there were quite a few baking sheets full of florets. I was using my sister-in-law’s oven, and threw them in with just 20 minutes left until guests arrived. (first mistake).
I don’t really know what happened, maybe it was my unfamiliarity of the oven I was using, or my lack of roasting skills, but the vegetables began to smoke. The house filled with a gnarly smell, and by the time the guests arrived it was too late. I decided to just go with it, my pride was at stake after all! I served the lightly charred, crispy, definitely NOT roasted, cauliflower and broccoli with a side of lumpy cheese sauce (another epic fail).
It was not good. Not good at all.
My husband will never let me live that down. I don’t think I’ll ever be given that assignment again. But one thing I have learned is how to properly roast vegetables, AND how to make a cheese sauce.
Here’s the moral of the story- know what you’re doing before Thanksgiving Day arrives.
This Cheesy Cauliflower Au Gratin has been tested, and approved. I’ve worked hard to perfect this recipe. It’s absolutely delicious, and super easy to make.
Here’s the best part about this tasty side dish casserole – no roasting and no homemade cheese sauce.
I’ve taken out the tricky parts and produced an easy, throw it all in a dish and bake, recipe.
Fill a 9″x13″ casserole dish with cauliflower florets, and drizzle with the easy cheese sauce.
Cover and bake.
Once it’s done baking, remove the foil and give it a quick stir.
Cover with more cheese and a crispy, buttery crumb topping.
Once it’s a golden brown, and bubbly all over it’s ready to enjoy.
This Cheesy Cauliflower Au Gratin is so phenomenal. The cauliflower is tender, but not mushy. The cheese sauce coats every inch of the cauliflower, and the crispy panko crumb topping is the perfect addition- adding a little crunch to each bite.
Go ahead and add this casserole to your Thanksgiving side dish list.
It will be a crowd pleaser. I promise.