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Pumpkin Cauliflower Cheese

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This rich and creamy small-batch cauliflower cheese recipe is made with real butternut pumpkin and oozy sharp cheddar cheese. A festive, 6-ingredient recipe perfect for pairing with your Thanksgiving feast or traditional Sunday roast.

hands are serving a dish of small batch pumpkin cauliflower cheese on a white wooden table

Aside from the Bacon-Wrapped Acorn Squash, I’d have to say this cauliflower cheese is probably my favourite savoury recipe of the whole Pinch of Pumpkin series. I mean, how can you say no to oozy golden cheese, silky creamy pumpkin sauce, and tender cauliflower? It’s pretty freakin’ magical.

This recipe is a lighter, more nutritious alternative to traditional cauliflower cheese, which uses a butter and flour based roux to thicken the sauce.

Here, we’re using blended butternut pumpkin and cream to thicken the cheese sauce, making it completely gluten-free and butter-free. Plus, you’re also getting a whole host of added benefits from the butternut pumpkin!

I know you’re going to love how cheesy and moreish this small-batch cauliflower cheese recipe is. Make it for your next Thanksgiving (or Sunday) feast and be sure to come back and let me know what you thought!

New to cooking with pumpkin?

Download your free copy of The Little Book of Pumpkin and learn how to identify and correctly use the 6 most common varieties of pumpkin to avoid bland, fibrous dishes.

Includes two exclusive BONUS recipes!

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Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This Pumpkin Cauliflower Cheese recipe is a delicious way to sneak more pumpkin into your diet. It’s perfect if you’re new to cooking with pumpkin as it lends just a subtle sweetness to the dish without being overpowering.
  • This is a small-batch recipe. It makes the perfect indulgent side dish for a smaller family or holiday dinner for two!
  • The sauce is super creamy, rich, and cheesy. You’re going to love this pumpkin alternative to the traditional cauli cheese!
  • This 6-ingredient recipe is completely gluten-free, easy to make and can be made ahead of time for Sunday roast or Thanksgiving dinner.
a white rectangular dish containing a pumpkin cauliflower cheese recipe on a wooden table surrounded by little munchkin pumpkins and a brown linen

5 Health Benefits of Pumpkin

  1. It’s nutrient dense. Pumpkin is particularly high in vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, and potassium.
  2. It’s 94% water. It’s a very hydrating vegetable, which is great for all parts of the body, especially the skin.
  3. It’s high in antioxidants (alpha-carotene and beta-carotene), which can neutralise free radicals and protect against chronic diseases. Some studies have shown that higher intakes of carotenoids can reduce risk of certain cancers.
  4. It’s immune boosting. The high levels of both vitamins A and C help increase white blood cell production and fight infections.
  5. It’s high in potassium. Potassium lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of heart conditions, making pumpkin a heart-healthy vegetable.
a portion of a pumpkin cauliflower cheese recipe has been removed from a small white casserole dish with a silver serving spoon

Ingredients in this cauliflower cheese recipe

  • Butternut pumpkin: This pumpkin is particularly soft, making it perfect for blending into the cheesy sauce.
  • Cauliflower: It would hardly be a cauliflower cheese recipe without the cauli! We’re using half a whole cauliflower for this small-batch dish.
  • Single cream: Makes the sauce extra rich and creamy.
  • Sea salt and black pepper: For seasoning.
  • Dry mustard: A little mustard works wonders to elevate the flavour of the cheese and pumpkin. You can also use Dijon if you don’t have dry mustard.
  • Granulated garlic: I love a pinch of garlic in this recipe – reminds me of mac and cheese!
  • Cheddar cheese: Use a strong cheese for the best flavour.
a serving of pumpkin cauliflower cheese on a light blue plate with a fork

How to make this pumpkin cauliflower cheese recipe

  1. Steam the pumpkin and cauliflower.
  2. Make the sauce.
  3. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Top with cheese.
  4. Bake and enjoy!

Full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Use cream for the sauce, not milk. Milk will split and curdle, so it’s best to use cream as directed.
  • If you’re making this for a special occasion meal, such as Thanksgiving, this dish can be made up to 48 hours in advance.
  • Use a strong, sharp cheese for this cauliflower cheese recipe. I love a sharp cheddar, but a gruyere would be lovely as well.
  • Butternut pumpkin is preferred for this recipe because it blends very smoothly. If you don’t have butternut, acorn, carnival, or even kabocha will work for this recipe.
This small-batch Pumpkin Cauliflower Cheese recipe is the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish! Sweet tender cauliflower wrapped in a sharp and creamy pumpkin cheddar sauce and then baked to golden perfection. Grab the full recipe on naturallysweetkitchen.com via @naturallysweet_kitchen

Looking for more refined sugar free pumpkin recipes?

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Bacon-Wrapped Acorn Squash with Maple & Chilli
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Sausage Pumpkin Bubble & Squeak
Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake
Pecan Pumpkin Sweet Rolls
Pecan Pretzel Crusted Pumpkin Pie

If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Pumpkin Cauliflower Cheese recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!

New to cooking with pumpkin?

Download your free copy of The Little Book of Pumpkin and learn how to identify and correctly use the 6 most common varieties of pumpkin to avoid bland, fibrous dishes.

Includes two exclusive BONUS recipes!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy

Pumpkin Cauliflower Cheese Recipe

This rich and creamy small-batch cauliflower cheese recipe is made with real butternut pumpkin and oozy sharp cheddar cheese. Perfect for Thanksgiving!

Category Side Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower and cheese, cauliflower bake, cauliflower cheese, cauliflower cheese bake, cauliflower cheese recipe, cauliflower gratin
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 2 people
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 100 g butternut pumpkin
  • 250 g cauliflower florets (about ½ head)
  • 75 ml single cream
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • tsp dry mustard
  • tsp granulated garlic
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 40 g mature cheddar cheese, grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF) and lightly grease a small 16 x 10 cm (6 x 4 inch) baking dish with butter.
  2. Peel and chop the pumpkin into small pieces. Place them at the bottom of a steaming basket and place the cauliflower florets on top. Steam the vegetables over a pot of boiling water. Remove the cauliflower after 3 minutes and pop them into the baking dish. Continue steaming the pumpkin until it is very soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Once the pumpkin is soft, drop the pieces into a blender. Add the cream, pepper, mustard, and garlic to the blender and then blitz until super smooth. Stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally.

  4. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan over medium heat and add 25 grams of the grated cheese. Stir the cheese into sauce until it is completely melted. Taste the sauce and season with salt to your taste.

  5. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower in the baking dish and toss gently to coat. Top the cauliflower with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake the cauliflower cheese for 25-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork tender and the top is golden. Serve immediately.

Notes

This dish can be made up to 48 hours in advance. After Step 6, cover the dish with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.

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