Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

Last updated on April 15, 2024

Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese Recipe
Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Cheese is a heartwarming dish that combines tender cauliflower with a rich, creamy cheese sauce, baked to golden perfection. It’s a perfect side dish for any meal, offering comfort and flavor that can elevate simple dinners or accompany special occasions.

This recipe serves 4-6 people and can be prepared and cooked in approximately 45 minutes.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through making Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Cheese, providing practical tips and insights to ensure delicious results.

What is Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese?

Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Cheese is a delightful blend of cooked cauliflower florets enveloped in a smooth, cheesy sauce, often gratinated under a broiler to achieve a crispy, golden top. It’s a modern twist on traditional British comfort food.

Cauliflower Cheese Recipe Jamie Oliver

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Versatility: Serves perfectly as a main for vegetarians or a side dish for various meats.
  • Family Friendly: Loved by both adults and children, making it a go-to for family meals.
  • Simple Ingredients: Requires basic, readily available ingredients.
  • Comforting: Ideal for a cozy night in or to warm up during colder months.

Ingredients Needed to Make Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese

  • Cauliflower: 1 large head (about 2 kg or 4.4 lbs), broken into florets.
  • Butter: 50g (a little over 1.7 oz) for a rich, velvety sauce.
  • Flour: 50g (a little over 1.7 oz), to thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Milk: 500 ml (about 17 fl oz), as the base of the sauce.
  • Cheese: 100g (about 3.5 oz) of sharp cheddar, grated, plus extra for topping.
  • Mustard: 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard to enhance the sauce’s flavor.
  • Nutmeg: A pinch, grated, for a subtle warmth in the sauce.
  • Salt & Pepper: To taste.

Useful Equipment

  • Large Pot: For boiling the cauliflower.
  • Colander: To drain the cauliflower.
  • Medium Saucepan: For preparing the cheese sauce.
  • Whisk: To mix the sauce smoothly.
  • Baking Dish: Approximately 9×13 inches for baking the dish.
  • Oven: Preheated to 220°C (428°F) for baking.

Instructions to Make Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese

Step 1: Prepare the Cauliflower

  • Preheat your oven to 220°C (428°F). Begin by washing the cauliflower head and breaking it into bite-sized florets. Boil a large pot of salted water, add the cauliflower, and cook for about 5 minutes until just tender but still firm. Drain well and set aside in your baking dish.

Step 2: Make the Cheese Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes until you have a light golden paste (roux). Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring no lumps form. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese, mustard, and a pinch of nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Combine and Bake

  • Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the cauliflower in the baking dish. Sprinkle with extra cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden brown.
Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese
Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese

What Do I Serve With Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese?

  • Roast Chicken: The creamy texture complements the crispiness of roasted chicken beautifully.
  • Grilled Meats: Serve alongside grilled steak or pork chops for a hearty meal.
  • Green Salad: Balance this rich dish with a fresh, leafy green salad.
  • Crusty Bread: Perfect for mopping up any leftover cheese sauce.
  • Fish: Pair with a light, flaky fish like cod or haddock to contrast the richness.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Accompany with steamed broccoli or carrots for added nutrition and color.
  • Pasta: Mix into cooked pasta for an indulgent, creamy pasta bake.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese

  • Don’t Overcook the Cauliflower: Keep it al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy after baking.
  • Cheese Varieties: Experiment with combining different types of cheese for a unique flavor.
  • Sauce Consistency: For a thinner sauce, add a bit more milk until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Season Well: Make sure to season each component well, especially the cauliflower before adding the sauce.
  • Pre-Bake Drying: After boiling, let the cauliflower sit in the colander for a few minutes to dry out slightly, preventing a watery sauce.
  • Infuse Flavors: Infuse the milk with bay leaves or garlic while heating for an added depth of flavor in the sauce.

Variations of Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese

  • Bacon Bits: Add crispy bacon bits for a smoky flavor.
  • Breadcrumb Topping: Mix breadcrumbs with Parmesan and sprinkle on top before baking for extra crunch.
  • Spicy Kick: Include a dash of cayenne pepper or chili flakes in the cheese sauce for a bit of heat.
  • Herb Infusion: Add fresh thyme or rosemary to the cheese sauce for a fragrant touch.
  • Stilton Twist: Use Stilton cheese along with cheddar for a bolder, more robust flavor.
  • Truffle Oil: Drizzle a little truffle oil over the top before serving for a luxurious finish.

How do I Store Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese Leftovers?

Storing leftovers of Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Cheese properly ensures that you can enjoy this delicious dish even after the day it was made.

Here’s how to store it:

  • Cool Down: Allow the cauliflower cheese to cool to room temperature before storing it to prevent condensation and sogginess.
  • Refrigerate: Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. Properly sealed, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, place the cooled cauliflower cheese in a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to one month. Label the container with the date so you can keep track of how long it’s been stored.

How do I Reheat Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese Leftovers?

Reheating your Cauliflower Cheese correctly can help retain its creamy texture and delicious taste.

Here are some methods to reheat it effectively:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Place the cauliflower cheese in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out, and heat for about 15-20 minutes or until hot throughout.
  • Microwave: For a quicker option, place the cauliflower cheese in a microwave-safe container, cover loosely, and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even warming.
  • Stovetop: Reheat in a saucepan over low heat. You may want to add a splash of milk to keep the sauce creamy. Stir gently until heated through.

Nutrition Value (Per Serving)

  • Calories: Approximately 350 kcal
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Cholesterol: 60 mg
  • Sodium: 550 mg


Can I Make Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese in advance, which makes it perfect for entertaining or preparing meals for the week. Assemble the dish up to the point of baking and store it covered in the refrigerator for up to a day. When you’re ready to serve, bake it according to the recipe instructions, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time if it’s coming straight from the fridge.

What Types of Cheese Can I Use for Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese?

While the recipe typically calls for sharp cheddar, you can experiment with a variety of cheeses for different flavors. Good alternatives include Gruyère, which adds a nutty flavor, or a combination of Parmesan and mozzarella for a stretchier texture and a more Italian twist. You can also add blue cheese for a strong, savory flavor profile.

Is Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese Suitable for Vegetarians?

Yes, Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Cheese is suitable for vegetarians as it contains no meat products. However, if you are cooking for someone with strict dietary restrictions, be sure to check that the cheese used is rennet-free, as rennet is an enzyme traditionally sourced from animals.

How Can I Add More Protein to Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese?

To increase the protein content in Jamie Oliver Cauliflower Cheese, consider adding chunks of cooked chicken, ham, or crispy bacon before baking. For a vegetarian protein boost, you could include items like cooked chickpeas, and beans, or even mix through some quinoa or hemp seeds, which will complement the dish without altering its classic flavor significantly.

Final Words

Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Cheese is more than just a side dish; it’s a versatile, comforting delight that can be adapted to suit various tastes and occasions. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special holiday meal, this recipe promises to be a crowd-pleaser. By following the detailed steps provided, you’re set to create a deliciously creamy and cheesy cauliflower dish that not only tastes fantastic but also brings a touch of culinary elegance to your table.

Remember, the key to perfect Cauliflower Cheese lies in the quality of your ingredients and the care you take in each step, from boiling the cauliflower to just the right texture to creating a smooth, rich cheese sauce. Experiment with the variations and find your family’s favorite version. Enjoy the process and the delicious results!

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