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Spicy Cauliflower Gratin with Crunchy Topping I foolproofliving.com

Spicy Cauliflower Gratin with Crunchy Topping

Cauliflower au Gratin recipe - Ready to add in a delicious vegetarian side dish to your cauliflower recipes collection? If so, you are in for a treat because this cauliflower au gratin recipe is flavored with warm spices like coriander and cumin and topped off with panko breadcrumbs for a spicy, crunchy and creamy goodness all in one side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 391kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds cauliflower cored and cut into small florets
  • 4 teaspoons black sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 +1 tablespoons chia seeds divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese shredded
  • Cheese Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 11/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese shredded


  • Place panko in a large non-stick skillet with 1-tablespoon olive oil and cook in medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently, 10-12 minutes. Transfer it to a plate, set aside and allow it to cool. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
  • Place the skillet back on medium heat and add cumin and coriander seeds. Toast for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar (or a spice grinder) and grind to a fine powder with the pestle. * Set aside. Wipe the skillet with paper towel. No need to wash as you’ll use it again to make the cheese sauce.
  • Meanwhile, place a pot of water over medium-high heat. Add in the cauliflower florets and a teaspoon salt. Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let it simmer for 9-10 minutes or until they are soft enough that you can easily insert a knife in and out of the florets. Drain, place in a large mixing bowl, and set aside to cool.
  • Mix together the ground cumin and coriander, both sesame seeds, 1-tablespoon chia seeds, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Make the cheese sauce: Heat butter in medium heat in the now-empty non-stick skillet. Add in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until it forms a thick paste. Switch to a whisk and slowly add the milk while constantly whisking it to remove any lumps. Add in the salt and pepper. Whisk for 2-3 more minutes until the sauce is completely cooked and thickened. Off the heat, add 1 cup cheddar cheese and give it a big stir.
  • To assemble: Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower florets. Stir in the spice mixture, half of the panko breadcrumbs and remaining 1- tablespoon olive oil. Taste it for seasoning and add more if necessary.
  • Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof gratin dish (I used 9X6 gratin dish but any size that you can fit everything would work). Sprinkle the top with the rest of the panko breadcrumbs, 1-tablespoon chia seeds, chopped parsley, and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden-brown on top. Serve immediately.


*You can skip this step if you would rather use ground cumin and ground coriander.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1050mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1119IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 2mg