The perfect #RealFoodSunday side dish for a holiday dinner or any-time meal. For this gratin recipe, swap potatoes for seasonal cauliflower, toss in a buttery, rich cheese sauce and top with crispy bacon.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Bring a small skillet to medium high heat. Add bacon and saute until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove bacon from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to let the grease drain. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add cauliflower florets to the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes, until tender.
Pour cooked cauliflower into a colander and drain liquid. Be sure all liquid is gone, so you don't end up with a watery casserole.
Pour drained cauliflower into a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish.
In the meantime, heat a medium saucepan to medium high heat.
Add butter to saucepan and melt. Then add flour to pan. Whisk the flour and butter together, continue to do so for at least 3 minutes.
Slowly pour in milk, whisking the entire time. Bring milk and flour mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Let the milk mixture simmer for about 6-8 minutes to thicken. Whisking occasionally.
Remove saucepan from the heat. Add in 1 ¼ cups shredded cheese, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.
Whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour cheese sauce over the cauliflower.
Using a spoon, gently mix the cheese sauce and cauliflower together.
Sprinkle the top of the cauliflower mixture with bacon, additional fresh thyme, and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese.
Place baking dish in oven and bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned.
Remove from oven and serve it up. Sprinkle the remaining cheese as a yummy topper.
Krista is the recipe developer and photographer of the popular Healthy Food Blog - Joyful Healthy Eats. She is a Midwest girl born and raised, but currently lives down south. Krista graduated with a degree in Sports Management & Wellness but her love and passion for food took over! Joyful Healthy Eats is a blog for those trying to eat healthier who still want to enjoy that occasional cookie. All the recipes on Joyful Healthy Eats are healthy and family friendly; with a focus on recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less! Cooking should be fun, and Krista shows you how easy it is to make a healthy meal, using fresh ingredients, and approachable techniques that leave you with a flavor bomb of a finished product! Come check it out!
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