Loaded cauliflower cheese recipe from the new Pinch of Nom book

This recipe sounds like the perfect treat for Boxing Day

Published 17th Dec 2021
Updated 17 th Dec 2021

This is extracted from Pinch of Nom Comfort Food: 100 Slimming, Satisfying Recipes by Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone, £10, Bluebird, out now 


Just when you thought a classic cauliflower cheese couldn't get any better! We've added tender cauliflower to a silky cheese sauce and topped it with a crunchy breadcrumb mix that's exactly what you need after a day out in the cold. You can even mix it up by sprinkling it with chopped, cooked smoky bacon (as well as the spring onion) just before serving, for comfort food at its finest. Try this with a couple of the other recipes in our book: Pulled Ham in a Mustard Sauce or One-pot Sunday Beef.

PREP: 5 MINS; COOK: 30 MINS; SERVES 4, Vegetarian (Use vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese) Freezable. PER SERVING: 301 KCAL / 32G CARBS


500g cauliflower, broken into florets

low-calorie cooking spray

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

3 tbsp plain flour

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300ml skimmed milk

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp sriracha sauce

100g low-fat (under 5 per cent fat) cream cheese

50g reduced-fat mature Cheddar, grated

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30g Parmesan, grated

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 slice of wholemeal bread

40g reduced-fat Cheddar, grated

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1 spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/gas mark 6).

2 Cook the cauliflower in a saucepan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until just soft, then drain well. While the cauliflower is cooking, spray a frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat.

3 Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes until lightly golden and soft. Remove from the heat and set to one side.

4 Put the flour and 100ml of the milk in a small saucepan and place over a low heat, whisking for 1-2 minutes until it starts to thicken, then add another 100ml milk and again whisk and heat for 1-2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add the final 100ml milk and heat for 1-2 minutes until thickened, then add the mustard and sriracha. Whisk in the cream cheese, then add the grated cheeses and whisk until melted and the sauce is creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

5 Place the drained cauliflower into an ovenproof dish, stir in the onion and garlic and pour over the cheese sauce.

6 Blitz the bread for the topping to a crumb in a food processor (or use a grater), place in a bowl and stir in the grated cheddar. Sprinkle the crumb over the cauliflower cheese and pop in the oven for 10 minutes until the top is crispy and golden. Sprinkle with the spring onion (if using) and serve.

TIP: You could add 2 bacon medallions to this recipe for an extra 23 kcal per serving. Fry until crispy in a frying pan, then slice and sprinkle on top.

SWAP THIS: Swap the skimmed milk for a non-dairy milk alternative and adjust the calories accordingly.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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