Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin Recipe | Vegetarian French Cuisine

Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin

Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin Recipe | Vegetarian French Cuisine
Region / culture: France | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 6 | Vegetarian diet


Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin
Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin

Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines the earthy flavors of cauliflower and spinach with a creamy tofu-based sauce. This gratin is a perfect side dish for any meal and is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.


The exact origins of Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin are unknown, but gratins have been a popular dish in French cuisine for centuries. Gratin dishes typically consist of vegetables or meat cooked in a creamy sauce and topped with breadcrumbs or cheese before being baked until golden and bubbly. This recipe puts a healthy twist on the traditional gratin by using tofu as a base for the creamy sauce.


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Coat a shallow 2 qt (1.89 liter) gratin or baking dish (approximately 11.5 x 8 inches) with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until tender, for 7 to 9 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Set aside.
  3. In the same pot over medium-high heat, cook spinach with just rinsing water clinging to leaves, stirring often, just until wilted, for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Press out excess water. Set aside.
  4. In a food processor, process bread until coarse crumbs form. Transfer to a small bowl. Add oil and toss to coat; set aside.
  5. In a food processor, combine tofu, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne and process until smooth and creamy. Add Parmesan and pulse just until mixed in. Scrape into a large bowl. Add cauliflower and spinach; stir with a rubber spatula to coat with sauce.
  6. Scrape the vegetable mixture into the prepared gratin dish, distributing evenly. Sprinkle the reserved bread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake until the gratin is heated through and the top is golden brown, for 35 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.


  • Add cooked quinoa or brown rice to the gratin for added texture and protein.
  • Substitute broccoli or Brussels sprouts for the cauliflower for a different flavor profile.
  • Use different types of cheese, such as cheddar or Gruyere, in place of the Parmesan for a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to rinse the spinach well to remove any dirt or grit before cooking.

- Press out excess water from the cooked spinach to prevent the gratin from becoming too watery.

- Make sure to coat the cauliflower and spinach evenly with the creamy tofu sauce for maximum flavor.

- For a crispy topping, broil the gratin for a few minutes after baking until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Serving Suggestions

Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin can be served as a side dish alongside roasted chicken or grilled fish. It also makes a delicious vegetarian main course when paired with a fresh salad.

Cooking Techniques

Blanch the cauliflower and spinach before adding them to the gratin to ensure they are cooked through but still retain their texture.

- Use a food processor to blend the tofu and mustard together until smooth and creamy for a silky sauce.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use Greek yogurt or sour cream in place of the tofu for a dairy-based sauce.

- Substitute whole wheat breadcrumbs for the torn whole wheat bread for a different texture.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the gratin up to a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

- You can also freeze the unbaked gratin for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the gratin with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, before serving for a pop of color. - Serve the gratin in individual ramekins for a more elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, for a perfect match.

- Serve the gratin with a side of crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up the creamy sauce.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

- Reheat the gratin in the oven at 350°F (177°C) until heated through, or microwave individual portions for a quick meal.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving



- Total Carbohydrates: 23g

- Dietary Fiber: 6g

- Sugars: 5g


- Total Fat: 12g

- Saturated Fat: 3g

- Trans Fat: 0g


- Protein: 15g

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A: 120%

- Vitamin C: 150%

- Calcium: 25%

- Iron: 20%


Contains: Dairy (Parmesan cheese)


Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin is a nutrient-rich dish that is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is a great source of protein and is relatively low in calories.


Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin is a delicious and nutritious dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its creamy tofu sauce, tender cauliflower, and wilted spinach, this gratin is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe repertoire. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

I can still remember the exact moment I discovered this recipe for Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin. It was a cold winter day, much like today, and I was visiting my dear friend Margaret in her cozy little cottage in the countryside. Margaret was always whipping up delicious meals in her small but well-equipped kitchen, and I was lucky enough to be her taste tester on many occasions.

On this particular day, Margaret announced that she was going to make a special dish for lunch using some fresh cauliflower and spinach from her garden. As she gathered the ingredients and prepped the vegetables, I sat at the kitchen table, watching her work her culinary magic.

Margaret had a way of effortlessly combining flavors and textures in her dishes that always left me in awe. She was a true master in the kitchen, and I was eager to learn as much as I could from her.

As she sautéed the cauliflower and spinach in a creamy béchamel sauce, the tantalizing aroma filled the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. When she pulled the gratin out of the oven, golden and bubbling, I couldn't wait to dig in.

The first bite was pure heaven. The cauliflower was tender, the spinach was perfectly wilted, and the cheesy béchamel sauce tied everything together in a rich and decadent blanket of flavor. I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make this dish myself.

Margaret graciously shared her recipe with me, and over the years, I have made it countless times for friends and family. Each time I make it, I think of that cold winter day in Margaret's kitchen, and I am filled with gratitude for her generosity and culinary prowess.

To make Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin, you will need the following ingredients:

- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

- 1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and chopped

- 2 tablespoons of butter

- 2 tablespoons of flour

- 1 1/2 cups of milk

- 1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese

- Salt and pepper to taste

- A pinch of nutmeg

- Bread crumbs for sprinkling

To begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the cauliflower florets for about 5 minutes, until they are just tender. Remove the cauliflower from the water and set aside.

In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook the roux for a few minutes, until it is golden brown and fragrant.

Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Add the grated Gruyere cheese to the sauce, stirring until it is melted and smooth. Remove the sauce from the heat.

In a large baking dish, layer the blanched cauliflower and chopped spinach. Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables, making sure to coat them evenly.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the gratin, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

Serve the Cauliflower and Spinach Gratin hot, alongside a fresh green salad or a crusty baguette. Enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness of this comforting and nourishing dish.

I hope you enjoy making and sharing this recipe as much as I have. From Margaret's kitchen to yours, happy cooking!


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