This Cauliflower Gratin is a creamy and healthier side dish for your Thanksgiving or holiday table or any weeknight. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients and can even be made in advance. A delicious recipe that is also gluten free, vegan, dairy free, low carb, keto and paleo-friendly.
Updated November 2020
Healthy Cauliflower Gratin Recipe
Looking for an easy and cozy side dish for Thanksgiving and all the holiday parties just around the corner? A few reader favorites include Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Broccoli Casserole and this healthy Cauliflower Gratin.
The great thing about this easy Cauliflower Gratin recipe is that it uses simple pantry ingredients and you can easily customize it with what you have on hand. The best part? Unlike classic cauliflower casserole recipes, our dairy-free vegan version is low carb, keto and paleo-friendly.
Why we love this easy vegan side dish
- A delicious and cozy gratin recipe that is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, low carb and keto-friendly
- Packed with fresh vegetables, fiber and nutrients
- A healthy, low-carb comfort food recipe that is full of flavor and topped with crunchy toasted cashews.
- Perfect for any busy weeknights, Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner
- Great for making ahead and Sunday meal preps
Ingredients you’ll need for this cauliflower and broccoli gratin
Classic Baked Cauliflower Gratin recipes are typically made with butter, flour, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Our Paleo Cauliflower Gratin recipe uses:
- broccoli florets
- cauliflower florets
- vegan butter, butter-flavored coconut oil or avocado oil – may also sub with ghee if you don’t need to make this cauliflower gratin vegan
- almond flour
- vegetable broth – may also sub with regular cream cheese if not plant-based
- unsweetened almond milk
- coconut cream OR sour cream
- dairy-free cream cheese (such as Kite Hill or Myokos) – may also sub with regular cream cheese
- fine sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- garlic powder
- onion salt (I usually get the one from Trader Joe’s)
- nut crumbs OR toasted keto breadcrumbs
- crushed grain-free crackers such as Simple Mills or Hu’s – may also sub with crushed pork rinds + nutritional yeast OR Parmesan crisps if not dairy free
- chopped parsley, for garnish
How to make Cauliflower Gratin
- PREHEAT OVEN to 400F degrees.
- GREASE a 9×13 baking pan and add the broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle with 1 tsp avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.
- MAKE THE CREAMY SAUCE: Meanwhile, melt butter OR avocado oil over medium heat then sprinkle in flour and cook for 1 minute while whisking constantly. Slowly pour in broth, then milk, coconut cream & cream cheese while whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce reduces and thickens – taste and season with salt, pepper, onion salt & garlic powder as needed.
- POUR the thickened sauce over the roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
- TOP with nut crumbs followed by crushed crackers OR pork rinds mixture or Parmesan crisps.
- BAKE for 13-18 minutes, or until bubbly and topping is golden.
Can cauliflower gratin be made ahead?
Absolutely! Simply prep the gratin in your casserole dish, cover it with a lid or plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
When you’re ready to cook the cauliflower casserole, remove the lid and bake it in a pre-heated oven. You can store any leftovers in a glass container with a lid.
If you’re taking this dish to share at a holiday party you can bake it in a Pyrex container or disposable foil casserole pan or a then cover with lid or foil and transfer to the party.
Storage and reheating instructions
How to store and reheat leftovers: Be sure to allow the leftover cauliflower gratin to cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge and enjoy it within 3-4 days.
To warm it up, heat it in the microwave for 15 second increments, stirring after each one, until it reaches your desired temperature.
Can You Freeze Cauliflower Gratin?
You can freeze your vegan cauliflower gratin for longer storage, if desired, though it’s definitely best when fresh.
To freeze: Since cauliflower can get a little bit soggy, we recommend freezing the cheese sauce separately in a resealable container for up to 3 months.
To thaw: Simply place the container in the fridge to thaw overnight before reheating the sauce on medium low in a saucepan on the stovetop. Just be sure to stir it very well, as the freezing process can cause some separation.
When you’re ready to serve, make the cauliflower as per the instructions above and then assemble with the thawed cheese sauce.
What to serve with cauliflower mac and cheese
Wondering what goes good with cauliflower this easy side dish?
- Serve with Turkey or Chicken: Treat your family to a satisfying meal of Thanksgiving Turkey, Juicy Grilled Chicken , Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Garlic, Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore that all go great with this low-carb side recipe.
- Pair with Pork: My Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders go so well with this gratin!
- Serve with Vegetables: To keep things Keto and vegan, serve your gratin with some fresh Grilled Vegetables or some Sauteed Green Beans.
Is this recipe keto?
Yes! The nutritional info for one serving is:
- 215 calories
- 4g Net carbs – 7g Total carbs – 3g Fiber
- 6g Protein
- 20g Fat
This cheesy Cauliflower Gratin is a deliciously creamy and comforting side dish that all your friends and family will love. It’s easy to make ahead for a holiday meal or you can simply whip it up the day of your potluck or family gathering.
More cauliflower recipes:
This Cauliflower Gratin is a creamy and healthier side dish for your Thanksgiving or holiday table or any weeknight. It's made with simple pantry ingredients and can even be made in advance.
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter , may also sub with butter flavored coconut oil OR ghee if not dairy-free
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth , may also sub with chicken broth if not plant-based
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup coconut cream
- 1/3 cup dairy-free cream cheese (Kite Hill OR Miyokos) , may also sub with regular cream cheese if NOT dairy free
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt I usually use the one from Trader Joe's
- 2/3 cups crushed Simple Mills grain-free crackers (or Hu's Kitchen grain-free crackers) + sauteed with 1 tsp avocado oil & 1 tsp nutritional yeast crushed pork rinds sauteed with 1 tsp avocado oil and 1 tsp nutritional yeast OR crumbled Parmesan cheese crisps
- 2 tablespoons nut crumbs OR toasted keto breadcrumbs OR regular breadcrumbs
- chopped fresh parsley , for garnish
PREHEAT OVEN to 400F degrees.
GREASE a 9x13 baking pan and add the broccoli and cauliflower. Drizzle with 1 tsp avocado oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.
MAKE THE CREAMY SAUCE: Meanwhile, melt vegan butter OR avocado oil over medium heat then sprinkle in flour and cook for 1 minute while whisking constantly. Slowly pour in broth, then milk, coconut cream & cream cheese while whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce reduces and thickens - taste and season with salt, pepper, onion salt & garlic powder as needed.
POUR the thickened sauce over the roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
TOP with nut crumbs followed by crushed crackers OR pork rinds mixture or Parmesan crisps.
BAKE for 13-18 minutes, or until bubbly and topping is golden.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.