Day 342: Cauliflower-Broccoli Gratin with Horseradish ♥

Cauliflower-Broccoli Gratin with Horseradish
Today's vegetable casserole recipe: A pretty mix of cauliflower and broccoli in cheese sauce that's got just a touch of heat from horseradish.

~recipe & photo updated 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~

2006 Original Post: "Gratin" sounds much fancier than reality: cauliflower with cheese sauce. But "delicious" barely describes the cheese sauce's bright notes of horseradish and mustard. Call it OH SO GOOD: this definitely qualifies for a 'I Could Easily Make a Meal Out of This' designation.

2013 Update: I've rewritten this recipe to reflect how I make it, how I think it's best made. For example, the inspiring recipe had way too much cheese sauce, two times too much by my measure. I also think that the mixture of cauliflower and broccoli is just so pretty so that's what I recommend too. Plus a bit of texture contrast is really nice. This is a great dish for a holiday table but isn't too much for every day too. It's really important to let the horseradish come through, be sure to use enough in the cheese sauce and the topping both.

"... like the perfect home-made mac and cheese--without the starch guilt!" ~ Glenna
"It was fabulous!" ~ seashell
"Made this tonight - it was great!" ~ Anonymous
"LOVE it!" ~ Linda


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves about 6

Well-salted water to cover
1 pound cauliflower florets
1 pound broccoli crowns

Bring the water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and broccoli, cook until tender (or until a knife inserts easily into the stem) or about 15 minutes. (The broccoli may finish first, if so, lift it out with a slotted spoon.) Drain and return to the hot pan to dry a bit.

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon horseradish
1/2 cup skim milk, warmed in the microwave
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper
Additional horseradish to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan over MEDIUM heat. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in the mustard and horseradish. A tablespoon at a time to start, add the warm milk, stirring until smooth before adding another tablespoon. Bring just to a boil but do not allow to boil. Add the cheese, green onion (if using) and stir occasionally until the cheese melts, watching the temperature carefully so not to boil. Taste and adjust seasonings and horseradish.

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup panko or dried bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
1/2 tablespoon horseradish (or more to taste)

Melt the butter in a microwave in a small bowl. Stir in the panko and horseradish.

Preheat oven to 450F. Gently toss the cooked cauliflower, broccoli and cheese sauce. Transfer to a lightly greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle topping on top. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until bubbling.

You could steam the vegetables too but I wanted the added tenderness/saltiness from cooking in salted water.
You could use all cauliflower but if so, will miss the color contrast so I'd suggest stirring in a couple of tablespoons of chopped green onion to the cheese sauce.
Keep tasting the cheese sauce and the crumbs, adding more horseradish to taste. The horseradish is what makes this dish special, make sure there's enough. Unfortunately, the heat of horseradish varies a lot, it'll need to be done by taste.
To make-ahead, cook the vegetables and cheese sauce ahead of time, then combine shortly before going into the oven. You will need to bake longer, 30 - 45 minutes.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. OMG ... that looks and sound soooo good. I gotta make that!

  2. Yum, yum and another thing-YUM. I haven't made this yet but I can tell it will be a favorite!

  3. You got it -- this was one GREAT cheese sauce!

  4. I made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! Kind of like the perfect home-made mac and cheese--without the starch guilt. Thanks!

  5. Glenna - You MADE my day, I'm so glad you liked it! It's definitely one of my favorites. And wouldn't that sauce BE great with noodles??? !

  6. On noodles? That would take time away from licking it off the SPATULA right out of the pan! Yum!

  7. I made this recipe tonight - I mixed the broccoli and cauliflower. It was fabulous!

    When I make it again I will add more horseradish, as my husband loves it and the one tablespoon produced a hint of flavor where he would go for more robust.

    I used a combo of smoked gouda and sharp cheddar.

    Another recipe to add to my favorites!

    Thanks Alanna!

  8. Made this tonight - it was great! 1.5 lb cauliflower equals about half a head. I think I might use the whole head next time, and then make 1.5 times the sauce.

  9. I made this for dinner last night. LOVE it! I doubled the amount of mustard by accident, but will do that again - I really like the tang from the mustard. I also sauteed a small onion in the butter before adding the flour because I love onion. Will be trying it with broccoli soon!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna