Cauliflower gratin with breadcrumbs

Cauliflower gratin with breadcrumbs

30 min
This recipe for cauliflower gratin flavoured with cheddar and anchovies is a true flavourful delight. Transform cauliflower and cheddar cheese into a dish perfect for dinner, either as a side or the main event. Whether you are looking to impress guests or just treating yourself to a cosy meal, this gratin is your ticket to a delicious, cheesy, creamy bake with a golden, crispy crust from breadcrumbs and cheese.


  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (conventional oven).
  • Divide the cauliflower into florets and boil them for 5 minutes in lightly salted water. Place the well-drained cauliflower in a greased ovenproof dish.
  • Chop anchovies and garlic finely. Place in a bowl and add cream and most of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the cream mixture over the cauliflower.
  • Blend bread with rosemary into fine breadcrumbs. Distribute over the gratin and top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes and serve.

Let the grain rest for 5-10 minutes after baking. This gives the bubbling ingredients a chance to settle. It also makes it easier to cut and serve, ensuring it does not fall apart as you dish it out, and allows the flavours to meld together just a bit more. Serve it immediately after these 5-10 minutes so it is still warm. The contrast between the crispy topping and creamy base is most pronounced when the dish is freshly baked and warm.


The breadcrumb and cheese mixture is what gives the cauliflower gratin its irresistible texture on top. For the best result, opt for day-old bread, as it blends more easily into finer crumbs than fresh bread. If you use fresh bread, lightly toast it first to remove moisture. When you blend the bread, check the consistency as you go.


500 g
Anchovy fillets
Garlic clove
Cooking cream
250 ml
Cheddar cheese, grated
150 g
Sea salt
1 tsp
Black pepper
White bread
2 slices
Fresh rosemary
1 sprig

Make an easy cauliflower gratin with cheese

Our baked cauliflower gratin surprises you with its tender cauliflower enveloped in a velvety cheese sauce. Baked to perfection to achieve a delicious harmony of flavours, it has a beautiful golden crust from cheese and breadcrumbs, and its creamy base is infused with salty, pungent notes from anchovies and garlic. Serve it as a main course for a cosy dinner or as a side to roast meats like lamb or chicken. Accompany it with a simple green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette and some crusty bread, letting it shine in its irresistible simplicity.

Creamy base with anchovies and garlic

Anchovies and garlic add a complex flavour to the otherwise mild and subtle cauliflower. Anchovies bring a salty umami richness, while garlic contributes a pungent, aromatic warmth. The anchovies melt into the creamy base, infusing it with an unmatchable depth, while a vibrant kick from garlic cuts through, ensuring every forkful is a delightful and harmonious mix of flavours that both contrasts and complements the creamy cauliflower base.

Crisp finish with bread and cheese

The creamy, almost gooey gratin needs a textural contrast, which is where the bread comes in. With breadcrumbs, preferably from stale or leftover bread, you get a crunchy, irresistible layer on top. Infused with rosemary, the breadcrumbs introduce a fragrant, herbal lift that cuts through the richness, adding a fresh dimension to the savoury, golden crust. Combined with cheese, the rosemary-infused breadcrumbs create a savoury, golden crust that is crispy and rich, providing a mouthwatering contrast to the tender cauliflower beneath. The combination ensures each bite is a harmonious blend of creamy, crispy, and rich notes that will leave you wanting more.

An easy way to use your leftovers

Do you also have leftovers in your kitchen that you do not know how to use? For this cauliflower gratin recipe, you can make use of two types of leftover ingredients: bread and cauliflower. Leftover bread transforms into the ideal breadcrumb mixture for your cauliflower gratin due to its slightly dried-out texture, which crisps up beautifully when baked. It soaks up the butter and spices more effectively than fresh bread, ensuring each crumb is packed with flavour.

Give new life to cauliflower that is not fresh enough in a salad. It softens and sweetens while baking, masking any bitterness or staleness. Surrounded by creamy sauce, cheese, and a crispy breadcrumb topping, even the most forlorn cauliflower is revitalised.

If you are looking for more inspiration for using leftover bread, take a look at our recipes for green salad with salad cheese and croutons, mushroom bruschetta, and avocado toast made from stale bread.

Add your own touch with different vegetables

Try something different with your cauliflower gratin, adding different vegetables to complement the cauliflower. Discover a harmonious blend of textures and flavours with broccoli, leek, or potato. One of the most favoured combinations is probably the classic cauliflower and broccoli gratin. Broccoli offers crunch and a pop of colour, and the texture goes very well with that of cauliflower.

But that does not mean you cannot experiment with other vegetables. Leeks in thin slices add a sweet, oniony touch that gives you a delicious, warm layer of complexity in the flavour. Potatoes, diced or cut into thick slices, thicken the whole thing and add a slightly sweet and earthy flavour. We suggest adding just one or two extra types of vegetables at a time to not overcomplicate or overpower the original gratin flavours.

You can also elevate the topping with Dijon breadcrumbs. Mix your breadcrumbs with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard before spreading it over the gratin. This introduces a tangy, spicy element that contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the dish. The tangy and slightly spicy notes of Dijon mustard pair well with cheddar cheese, complementing its sharpness and adding a subtle piquancy that elevates the overall flavour.