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Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin with Pancetta


This Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin with Pancetta is a great side dish, or could be a meal by itself! The homemade cheese sauce is out of this world! Baking it at the end adds to the deliciousness!

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (21 Votes)


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil


Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Cut the cauliflower into florets, and cook in a large pot of lightly salted water until just fork tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the pancetta until crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat, then add the flour and stir until mixed. Slowly start to pour the milk over the flour mixture whisking continuously as you pour.

Reduce the heat to low, then add the two cheeses, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Continue to cook, whisking often until the sauce is thickened and the cheese has melted.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour a little of the sauce into an 8 x 11 inch casserole dish, then arrange the cauliflower and pancetta on top. Pour the remaining sauce over the cauliflower.

In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients, rubbing the oil into the crumbs with your fingertips. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cauliflower mixture, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the casserole is golden brown on top and bubbly.

Serve hot or warm.


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