If you're searching for a side dish that satisfies and impresses, look no further. This cauliflower and broccoli au gratin is creamy, cheesy, and spiced just right! It's a recipe that you and your family will love!
Being pregnant was not all sunshine and rainbows for me. I can't believe I'm starting this post talking about BEING PREGNANT, but it definitely inspired this dish. You see— when you're really pregnant cooking is exhausting and that's where this recipe came from.
Back in November I stayed with my good friend for a few weeks and she introduced me to Trader Joe's Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin. I took one bite and my pregnant self was in heaven. I knew I had to re-create it post-baby.
So here we are, post baby, and I've re-created it for you.
Why You'll Love This Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin
This might just be the best cauliflower and broccoli au gratin that I have ever had. It's the kind of recipe that satisfies AND impresses everyone as a side dish. After falling in love with it the first time, I made the recipe again and again. Here's why:
- Homemade cheese sauce
- Sauce to cauliflower/broccoli ratio
- Crunchy breadcrumb topping
How To Make Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin
Have you ever made au gratin (of any kind) from scratch before? The trick is to up that creamy factor. Let me teach you how to make it.
- Steam the veggies: Steam or boil the cauliflower and broccoli until just tender— you don't want them fully cooked since they will finish in the oven.
- Begin the cheese sauce: Melt the butter on the stove, then add flour. The flour soaks up the butter making a "roux." Cook the roux for 1 minute, this helps cook out of the flour taste.
- Add the milk and spices: Whisk in the milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring it to simmer and whisk in the cheese until smooth.
- Combine: Add a few spoonfuls of the cheese sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Then, add the veggies. Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top and gently stir together.
- Make the breadcrumb topping: Melt the butter and stir in the Panko. Sprinkle over the top.
- Bake: Bake for 17-20 minutes until bubbly and slightly brown on the top.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin Ingredients
- Shredded Cheese
What Cheese Do I Use?
For a truly remarkable au gratin, use a combination of cheeses. I recommend using white cheddar and parmesan. Grate it at home so it's soft and fresh (pre-shredded has additives to make it a bit sturdier). I love this cheese grater if you're in the market for one!
We're looking for this level of a creaminess:
I can say with 100% certainty that this cauliflower and broccoli au gratin is absolutely dynamite.
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Creamy Cauliflower and Broccoli Au Gratin
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into like-size florets
- 1 head broccoli, cut into like-size florets
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 and 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Steam or boil cauliflower and broccoli florets until just tender— about 5 minutes. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the cheese sauce: In a large saucepan, melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook and whisk the paste for about 1 minute, this help cooks out the flour taste. Then, slowly whisk in the milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bring to a simmer, then whisk in the cheese until smooth. Remove from the heat.
- Add a few spoonfuls of the cheese sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 inch or 3-4 quart baking dish. Then, add the cauliflower and broccoli to the baking dish. Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower and broccoli and gently stir together, making sure the florets are covered.
- Make the breadcrumb topping: Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter and stir in the Panko. Sprinkle over the top.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown on the top. If you're like me and prefer a crispier top, use the broiler for 1 minute after it bakes (be careful— keep an eye on it!)
- All to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Careful, it’s hot!
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: To freeze, prepare the au gratin through step 3— save the breadcrumbs right before baking. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw 24 hours in the refrigerator, then top with breadcrumbs (if desired) and bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until warm throughout.
- Milk: Using whole milk is strongly recommended for the creamiest sauce.
- Cheese: Use a mix of freshly grated cheese for the best flavor and consistency. Pre-shredded cheese tends to be more dry.