Cheesy baked cauliflower

cheesy baked cauliflower

Thanksgiving is typically a very traditional holiday for most families, including mine. It’s often filled with the same people, the same food, and the same rituals year after year. That’s what makes it so comforting.

But this year my Thanksgiving was a blend of the old and the new. It was filled with most of my favourite things that makes Thanksgiving feel so familiar, but with some new twists and perhaps even new traditions. It was different, yet still had all the elements that make Thanksgiving so special.

On Sunday I went to JZ’s family’s Thanksgiving for the first time and got to partake in their traditions including his grandma’s Slovenian soup and an intense game of Blackjack! I made these apple spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting from Canadian Living to contribute to the meal. They were basic cupcakes, but the caramel topper I made using this tutorial really made them stand out!

apple spice cupcake 3

My family’s Thanksgiving was on Monday. Like always, we went to the Norfolk County Fair beforehand. It no longer holds the same appeal now that I’m older and don’t care for the rides or games, but I keep going back because of its nostalgic meaning to me. And I still enjoy the horse shows and giant pumpkins!

norfolk county fair

Our Thanksgiving meal was essentially the same as every family holiday dinner, right down to the side dishes. Despite eating the same thing two or three times a year for my entire life, I still look forward to their familiar flavours every time!

Thanksgiving dinner

I like to add a twist every year by contributing a new side dish though. This year I made this roasted squash with lemon tahini sauce from Bon Appetit, which was a hit amongst all the squash lovers in my family. The slightly bitter, tangy sauce was a good complement to the sweetness of the squash.

roasted squash with lemon tahini sauce

The real side dish standout was my dad’s cheesy baked cauliflower though. With a topping made of mayonnaise and two types of cheese, it will convert even the biggest cauliflower skeptics (just ask JZ)! I love the dish as is, but as an experiment, I decided to try making a lighter version with the leftover cauliflower.

Cheesy baked cauliflower

To lighten it up slightly, I replaced the mayo with Greek yogurt and reduced the cheese by just a touch. The result was a healthier version of my dad’s dish without sacrificing any flavour.

See? Sometimes slightly changing traditions can be a good thing.

Cheesy baked cauliflower

Cheesy baked cauliflower
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A healthy, cheesy side dish that's sure to convert even the biggest cauliflower skeptic! Vegetarian, gluten free, egg free, nut free.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 4 cups large cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup shredded extra old cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tbsp plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water, and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and let cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until it is tender and able to be pierced with a fork. Then drain and place in a 1 to 1.5 quart baking dish and sprinkle with salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cheddar, Parmesan, Greek yogurt, and Dijon mustard. Stir to mix well, then spread it on top the cauliflower.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?


Filed under recipe

29 Responses to Cheesy baked cauliflower

  1. Mmm this sounds delish Chelsea! Lately I’ve been loving baked cauliflower dipped in hummus- will have to try this out soon! I loved hearing about your Thanksgiving traditions! We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here but one thing’s for sure- a majority of our holidays are based around an abundance of food and time with friends/family. Diwali is coming up next week so that’s kicked off with sending out trays of nuts, dried fruits & chocolates to friends/family.

  2. I LOVE making mac and cheese with greek yogurt, and now you have given me a cauliflower recipe. That is funny it is you who put this up here, as cauliflower and cheese always reminds me of England as we had it a lot when I was a kid :) Good memories….now here is a better nutritional version!

  3. this looks like pure ooey-gooey cheesy heaven! Yum!

  4. yum yum yum! we always go to my parents’ for thanksgiving where they have quite a spread – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and lots lots more!

    • Chelsea

      Sounds fantastic! My family has never done sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, but I know it’s a pretty common side dish to have for the holidays. I’ve always wanted to try a sweet potato casserole!

  5. This makes me excited for Thanksgiving in a few weeks! Those apple cupcakes look AMAZING. And I love the addition of greek yogurt to the baked cauliflower….probably adds some great tang and creaminess!

  6. My mom makes a similar cauliflower dish, love the idea of greek yogurt instead of mayo, although I need more mustard than that!

  7. This would convert me. We had cauliflower at our Thanksgiving dinner as well, but I have to admit that I completely ignored it because a) it wasn’t cheesy, and b) I’m not a huge fan of plain cauliflower. This is a dish I definitely wouldn’t pass up though! Pinned :)

    • Chelsea

      Haha understandable – I’m not the biggest fan of plain cauliflower either. It needs some kind of strong flavour with it!

  8. I love cauliflower but it can be blend and boring. My sister recently made a similar dish but without the cheese. I’m a sucker for cheese so I will definitely try your version. Yum!

  9. ChelseaKale- this looks delicious and I think the caramel topper looks like a head piece the royal family would wear.

    When I’m in Canada, you will three of the biggest cauliflower fans in your presence- me D and meg.

  10. Mmmm, I just added cauli to my grocery shopping list so I can make this for my new roomie this weekend. :) I WISH YOU COULD JOIN US.

  11. Your Thanksgiving sounds so lovely :) That squash dish you shared sounds amazing! And it’s funny, one of my favourite traditional family recipes is a creamy cauliflower. I’m going to have to try my hand at healthifying it!

  12. my husband would love this! great combo. Wanna come make it for us? hehe

  13. I love holiday traditions. Ours have changed a bit over the years but they are always centered around the same themes of veggies and some things (like cranberries) are always there lol. This cauliflower looks SO good!! I can’t wait to try it. It wont be at a holiday with my parents any time soon. Our Thanksgiving will be spent at the A&M game this year and dinner out and I won’t be going home for Christmas… I guess adult life has started!

  14. Pingback: . link love 10/19 . - . running with spoons .

  15. Mmm this looks fantastic – glad you had a wonderful thanksgiving! All the best holidays are centred around food!

  16. I adore cauliflower in all it’s beautiful glory. I also have a thing for cheese and I don’t mind lightened up dishes so long as it’s not a weird chemical replacement. In short, this dish is perfect to me, and I can’t wait to make it sometime soon.

    P.S. The eggplant salad was spot on!!

  17. Pingback: Month In Review: October 2014 - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

  18. Pingback: 60 Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes - The Fit Cookie

  19. Pingback: The best of 2014 - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

  20. Pingback: Boyfriend approved vegetable side dishes - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

Leave a Reply