Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 50 Mins

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to a simple yet incredibly tasty dish called Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese. This recipe, from one of the UK’s most adored chefs, Mary Berry, is the ultimate comfort food for a warm, cozy meal.

What is Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese?

Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese is a classic British casserole that combines tender cauliflower florets with a rich, creamy cheese sauce, baked to perfection to achieve a golden and bubbly crust.

Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simplicity Meets Elegance: With straightforward ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, this dish is a testament to the beauty of simple cooking.
  • Comfort in Every Bite: The creamy cheese sauce and tender cauliflower create a comforting dish that warms the heart.
  • Versatile: Perfect as a main for vegetarians or a side dish that complements a variety of mains.

More From Mary Berry’s

Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese Ingredients

To make Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 50g (2oz) all-purpose flour
  • 600ml (1 pint) milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon or English)
  • 150g (5oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g (2oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese

The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Prepping the Cauliflower

  • Cook the Cauliflower: Begin by preheating your oven to 200°C (400°F, Gas Mark 6). Boil the cauliflower florets in salted water for 5 minutes until they’re just tender but still firm. Drain and transfer to a baking dish.

Step 2: Creating the Cheese Sauce

  • Melt the Butter: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for about 2 minutes, cooking the roux without letting it brown.
  • Add the Milk: Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring no lumps form. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring continuously.
  • Add Flavour and Cheese: Stir in the mustard, a pinch of nutmeg, and half of the Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.

Step 3: Assembling and Baking

  • Combine and Bake: Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar and the Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese?

Deciding what to serve with Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese can elevate your meal from great to unforgettable. This dish’s versatility means it pairs beautifully with a range of foods, from the simplicity of a weekday dinner to the complexity of a festive feast.

Here’s how to complement it perfectly:

  • Elevate with Roast Chicken: The succulence of roast chicken alongside the creamy cauliflower is a match made in culinary heaven.
  • Green Beans for Crunch: A side of lightly steamed or sautéed green beans brings a fresh, crispy dimension.
  • Rustic Bread on the Side: A slice of artisanal bread, perfect for dipping into the cheese sauce, adds a comforting element.
  • With a Glass of White Wine: A crisp Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc can beautifully cut through the richness of the cheese.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese

Achieving perfection in making Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese is all about understanding the nuances.

Here are some insider tips to guide you:

  • Cheese Quality Matters: Opt for high-quality, mature Cheddar for a deeper flavor profile.
  • Roux is Key: Master the roux for the sauce; it’s the foundation of the dish’s creamy texture.
  • Seasoning is Essential: Don’t forget to season each layer for the most flavorful result.
  • Broil for Finish: A brief broil can give you that irresistibly crispy, golden-brown top layer.

Variations of Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese

The classic Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese is a canvas for creativity.

Here are some variations to spice up the traditional recipe:

  • Add Smoked Paprika: For a smoky undertone, sprinkle smoked paprika into the cheese sauce.
  • Introduce Bacon: Crisp bacon bits added on top offer a savory crunch.
  • Go Green with Broccoli: Mix in some broccoli florets for a colorful and nutritional boost.
  • Try Different Cheeses: Experiment with adding Gouda or Swiss cheese for a new taste experience.

How do I Store Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese Leftovers?

Proper storage of Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese leftovers ensures that you can enjoy this delightful dish for days to come. The key is to maintain its freshness and texture while preventing any spoilage.

Here’s how to do it right:

  • Cool Before Storing: Let the dish come to room temperature to prevent condensation inside the container.
  • Airtight Containers: Transfer leftovers into airtight containers to keep them fresh and prevent odors.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: Place the containers in the refrigerator as soon as they’re sealed.
  • Label and Date: Mark the containers with the storage date to keep track of freshness.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese Leftovers?

Reheating Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese leftovers correctly can make them almost as good as when freshly made. The goal is to retain the dish’s creamy texture and flavorful taste.

Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Oven Method Preferred: Reheat in an oven preheated to 350°F for best texture, covering with foil to prevent drying out.
  • Stir If Microwaving: When using a microwave, stir midway through reheating to distribute heat evenly.
  • Add a Touch of Milk: If the sauce seems too thick, lightly stir in a splash of milk before reheating to revive the creaminess.
  • Avoid Overheating: Warm the dish just until heated through to prevent the cheese sauce from separating.



Here are some frequently asked questions about Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese:

What is cauliflower cheese?

Cauliflower cheese is a classic British dish that consists of cooked cauliflower florets covered in a creamy cheese sauce and baked until golden and bubbly. It can be served as a main course or as a side dish to accompany a roast or other meat dishes. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover cauliflower or cheese that you have in your fridge.

Can I make cauliflower cheese in the microwave?

Certainly! If you’re pressed for time or oven access is an issue, the microwave is a convenient alternative for making cauliflower cheese. Start by cooking the cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe dish, covered with a splash of water, for about 8-10 minutes until they’re tender. For the sauce, melt butter in another microwave-safe bowl, then gradually whisk in flour and milk until smooth. Blend in the cheese until it melts. Combine the sauce with the cauliflower and microwave for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is warm and velvety.

Can I make cauliflower cheese vegan?

Yes, creating a vegan version of cauliflower cheese is straightforward with the availability of plant-based substitutes. Replace dairy products with vegan butter, suitable plant milk (such as almond, soy, or oat milk), and vegan cheese. To enhance the cheesy flavor without dairy, consider adding nutritional yeast, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a dash of apple cider vinegar. These ingredients add depth and a tangy zest that mimics the traditional cheese sauce’s complexity.

Can I make cauliflower cheese gluten-free?

Indeed, making gluten-free cauliflower cheese is simple by substituting the flour used in the sauce with a gluten-free alternative. Options include cornstarch, rice flour, or almond flour, all of which work well to thicken the sauce without gluten. For a crunchy topping, consider using gluten-free breadcrumbs, crushed nuts, or seeds to add texture and flavor to the finished dish.

Can I make cauliflower cheese keto-friendly?

Yes, adapting cauliflower cheese for a keto diet is achievable by selecting low-carb replacements for traditional ingredients. Use almond flour, coconut flour, or a small amount of xanthan gum as thickening agents for the sauce. Opt for high-fat dairy options like heavy cream or unsweetened almond or coconut milk to maintain the creamy consistency. Increasing the cheese content and reducing the cauliflower proportion can also help align the dish with keto dietary requirements, boosting its fat and protein content while minimizing carbs.

Why Does My Cauliflower Cheese Go Watery?

One common reason cauliflower cheese becomes watery is the presence of excess moisture in the cauliflower itself. To prevent this, thoroughly drain the cauliflower after boiling or steaming, and consider patting it dry with a kitchen towel. Overcooking the cauliflower can also break down its structure, releasing more water into the dish. Additionally, a sauce that hasn’t been sufficiently thickened may contribute to a watery consistency.

Is Frozen Cauliflower Cheese Good for You?

Frozen cauliflower cheese can be a convenient and nutritious option, as long as it is made with healthy ingredients and minimal additives. Cauliflower is rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, while cheese adds protein and calcium. However, be mindful of the sodium and fat content, which can vary depending on the recipe or brand. For the healthiest choice, look for or prepare versions with whole-food ingredients and moderate amounts of cheese.

What Is the Origin of Cauliflower Cheese?

Cauliflower cheese has its roots in British cuisine, where it has been a beloved dish for centuries. Its first known recipes date back to the 18th century, appearing in English cookbooks. Originally considered a luxury due to the high cost of cauliflower and cheese, it has since become a staple in British households, celebrated for its comforting warmth and versatility.

Why Is My Cauliflower Fluffy?

Cauliflower can become fluffy or crumbly when it is overcooked. High heat for too long breaks down the cell structure, causing it to lose its firmness and become soft and fluffy. To maintain its texture, cook cauliflower until it’s just tender — firm enough to pierce with a fork but not so soft that it falls apart. Steaming or microwaving briefly can help control the cooking process more effectively than boiling.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s cauliflower cheese is one of my favorite recipes from her cookbook collection. It’s a simple and delicious dish that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a cozy Sunday roast accompaniment, this dish will not disappoint you.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about this classic British dish. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you.

Other Mary Berry Recipes:

Leave a Reply