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Baked Cauliflower Volcano (Vegetables Au Gratin)

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"This is one of my favorite recipes. It earned me the 1st Prize and my first prize when I was still in my teens. This dish is most comforting to me. Serve hot with dinner rolls and pasta, or enjoy it with anything - rice, naan, tortillas, etc."
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1 h 16 m servings 371
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in processed cheese, heavy cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Prick whole cauliflower in several places with a fork. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook, uncovered, until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Drain.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, carrot, red bell peppers, peas, and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables start to release their moisture, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns.
  5. Transfer vegetables to prepared baking dish. Place whole cauliflower in the center. Pour some sauce over cauliflower; fold remaining sauce in with vegetables. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Scatter Parmesan cheese on top. Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons peppercorns over cheese.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Use olive oil instead of butter for cooking the vegetables if you prefer. If using salted butter, use less salt.
  • Use fat-free or full-fat cream as preferred. Substitute another cheese for Parmesan if desired.
  • Spoon some ketchup on top before the bread crumbs and cheese if you like.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 371 calories; 22.1 28.3 16.6 67 658 Full nutrition

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