Lightened Up Cauliflower Gratin | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lightened Up Cauliflower Gratin

I was reading one of my favorite food blogs the other day, Izty's Kitchen, where two South Carolina gals, Erica and Mandy are always cooking up a delicious storm when Mandy's Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts recipe caught my eye.  You can find their original post here.  This recipe is originally from Cooking Light.  I wanted something to go with  pan seared cod fillets last night, and remembered I had a head of fresh cauliflower in the refrigerator.  I didn't have brussels sprouts, so I just omitted them in the dish.  I also lightened the dish even more than the original by using nonfat milk and fat free half and half.  (Boy, I have been finding an awful lot of uses for fat free half and half lately...I think I need to add it to my list of must have products!) I wasn't sure what to expect, as I have tried my hand at lightened up cauliflower gratin dishes before that turned out just ok...

OH boy, was this dish ever delicious!  I think even holiday table worthy!  It tasted rich and creamy and the bacon gave it a wonderful flavor.  It certainly was a great treat for a weeknight dinner, and it was quick and easy enough to make as a weeknight side.  I also micro steamed some green beans for the meal. 

Lightened Up Cauliflower Gratin adapted from Cooking Light as seen on Itzy's Kitchen

Servings - 6   Serving size - 1/6th of recipe ( approx. 1 cup )  PP per serving - 3 points+
Calories - 130.2,   Total Fat - 3.6g,   Carb. - 17.4g,   Protein - 7.4g,   Fiber - 2.6g

1 head of cauliflower ( approx. 5 cups of florets ) You could use frozen, if you like
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs ( about 2 slices of bread , crusts removed, crumbled in food processor OR you could use panko)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray an oven proof 2.5 quart casserole dish ( I used an 8 x 8" glass baking dish) with cooking spray and set aside.  Micro steam cauliflower florets until crisp tender in covered dish.  ( my microwave took about 5 minutes on HIGH ).  Set aside. While cauliflower is cooking, in a large nonsick skillet, combine the fresh bread crumbs and the olive oil and cook until the crumbs are browned and crispy, stirring occasionally.  Put into a small bowl for later. 

2.  In another small bowl ( I used a  4-cup glass measure ), combine the flour, milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Whisk until well combined.  Set aside. 

3.  In the same large nonstick skillet you previously used for the bread crumbs, fry the bacon until crispy, stirring occasionally.   Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft, approx. 3 - 5 minutes.  Stir in milk mixture, and bring to a simmer.  Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in cooked cauliflower.  Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish and cover with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. 

4.  Once out of the oven, remove the foil and top casserole with the Parmesan cheese and the browned bread crumbs.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy! 


  1. oh my gosh! Looks fabulous!!!! Love your even more light version :) Thanks for the IK shout out!!

  2. Hi Renee! YUM!!! This looks SOOOO good! Anything with bacon is so good! Have a great Friday.

  3. Oh my goodness that looks creamy and delicious. Comfort food for sure. I have a head of cauliflower in my frig just waiting to be turned into something lovely.

    Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Oh, yes!

  4. I've been waiting for this since you posted about it on FB! Looks DIVINE! I must make this!

  5. I'm so glad you liked the gratin recipe! I love your even more lightened up version! I totally agree - this side was fantastic...definitely holiday-worthy! I really want to try it with broccoli next time too =) Thanks for the shout out!

  6. I actually have cauliflower gratin on my menu this week, but I am going to steal your recipe!! Thanks Renee!

  7. Gratin ANYTHING and I'm there...this looks amazing!

    Thanks for the well wishes, Renee...I am feeling better. Hope it lasts!

  8. Hi there! I see flour in the instructions, but not finding any in the list of ingredients! I'd love to make this for much flour do you use?
    Thanks! Deb

  9. Thanks for pointing this out Deb!....there is 1/4 cup of flour in the recipe. I've changed it to reflect that amount on the recipe and the printable copy! I hope you like it!


Thank you for visiting! Share what's on your mind and make my day! Make this recipe? I'd love to hear how it turned out for you! Share on social media with #RKArecipes