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cheesy cauliflower bake with pancetta in cast iron skillet with wooden spoon on kitchen towel

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake with Pancetta

  • Author: Elizabeth
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


An easy Cheesy Cauliflower Bake with Pancetta is the best baked casserole dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Serve it as a side dish at your next party!



1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces

¼ cup unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon minced rosemary

1 Tablespoon thyme sprigs

1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 cups Roth Grand Cru Cheese, shredded

8 ounces cubed, crispy pancetta

green onions, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a casserole dish and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from water and place into an ice bath to blanch/stop the cooking. Cauliflower will continue to bake in the oven and you don’t want it to get mushy.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Whisk in flour to butter mixture and cook until smooth and golden in color, about 1-2 minutes. 

Slowly add in the milk and heavy cream whisking as your pour. Add in salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to cream mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes, the mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove cream mixture from heat and whisk in shredded white cheddar and 1 cup of shredded Grand Cru cheese until smooth.

In the casserole dish, arrange the cauliflower pieces and pancetta. Mix in the cheese mixture evenly. Top with extra cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and the top is golden brown. Top with green onions and enjoy!


Replace half the cauliflower with 1 large or 2 small heads broccoli.

Omit the pancetta for a vegetarian cheesy cauliflower bake.

Keywords: Cheesy Cauliflower Bake, Cheese and Cauliflower Bake, Cauliflower Cheese Recipe, Easy Cheesy Cauliflower