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How to Make Cream Out of Cauliflower

By Annie Petito Published

We made a rich, velvety cauliflower gratin without any cream.

Cauliflower is special. Unlike most vegetables, it is relatively low in fiber, particularly the insoluble fiber that is resistant to breaking down. This gives the brassica a unique quality: It can easily be blended into an ultrasmooth, snow-white puree that’s rich in flavor and texture without being heavy–all without adding any cream. 

We use the silky cauliflower puree as a sauce for steamed cauliflower florets in a light, modern cauliflower gratin that’s satisfying but without the heft that usually comes from loads of dairy.

How to Make a Creamless Cream Sauce

1. Simmer cauliflower cores, stems, and florets in water with butter until the cauliflower turns soft.

2. Whiz the cooked cauliflower and its cooking liquid in a blender–along with some grated Parmesan cheese for richness and saltiness–until smooth. Add dry mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg to round out the flavors.

3. Blend in a cornstarch slurry to give the puree body, then season it with salt and pepper.

Coat steamed cauliflower florets in the sauce and load the mixture into a baking dish, then top it with toasted panko bread crumbs and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake the gratin until the sauce bubbles at the edges, then sprinkle on chopped fresh chives.

With that, you’ll have a creamless cauliflower gratin that’s good enough to require a second helping—and light enough to guarantee that you’ll have room for it.

Get the Full Recipe:

Recipe Modern Cauliflower Gratin

Who says a gratin needs to be stodgy and rich to be satisfying? The unique attributes of cauliflower put a fresh spin on this old standby.

Recipe Cauliflower Soup

The secret to the best-tasting cauliflower soup you’ve ever eaten? Undercook some of the cauliflower—and overcook the rest.

Recipe Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread Crumbs

How to make this restaurant favorite at home? Crowd the pan and consolidate pots.

Recipe Roasted Cauliflower

High-heat roasting intensifies the flavor of this understated vegetable. We wanted to maximize the golden exterior while ensuring a creamy interior.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.