cauliflower pumpkin casserole in cast iron skillet
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Easy Cheesy Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole

Whether you’re looking for a new Thanksgiving side dish or a creative vegetable gratin, this cauliflower pumpkin casserole is always a hit!

One day I literally only had two vegetables in my kitchen so I thought I would combine them and we have been loving the result: a delicious cauliflower pumpkin casserole drizzled with a white sauce and topped with plenty of cheese.

If you’re wondering what this tastes like, I definitely recommend you try this!

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Why you’ll love this recipe

This cauliflower pumpkin gratin is a great way to feature the fall flavors for the whole family. Low-carb cauliflower is the main ingredient in this cheesy casserole. However, the addition of sweet, earthy pumpkin pieces makes this even healthier. A white cheesy sauce is a nice contrast. And anything with a brown cheese topping makes this such a comforting casserole.

What are the ingredients

You will need:

  • Cauliflower: this cruciferous vegetable is full of Vitamin B and fiber
  • Pumpkin: this popular fall squash is a vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant powerhouse
  • Unsalted butter: one of the base ingredients for the white sauce
  • Flour: helps thicken the white sauce
  • Milk: whole milk is my favorite here
  • Sour cream: add body and flavor to the sauce
  • Mustard: helps elevate the whole dish
  • Cheddar cheese: for the cheese topping
ingredients for cauliflower pumpkin casserole on kitchen counter

Useful tools and equipment

I find these helpful in making this delicious side dish:

  • Steamer basket: You might have your favorite ways to cook the head of cauliflower and the pumpkin but I love using my steamer basket. You will be surprised how quickly you can cook both vegetables.
  • Large pot: for steaming the pumpkin and the cauliflower
  • Cast-iron skillet: My favorite since it goes right from the stovetop into the oven
  • Wire whisk: The essential tool for making the smooth sauce

How to make this cauliflower pumpkin casserole

1. Cook the vegetables:

Place the steamer basket in a large pot and add about 1½” of water to the bottom. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy parts. Place face-down in the middle of the steamer basket. Arrange the cauliflower quarters or florets around the pumpkin. Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil and turn to low. Steam the vegetables until the pumpkin is very soft but the cauliflower is cooked but not mushy.

cauliflower and pumpkin in steamer basket in large pot

2. Make the white sauce:

In a sauce pot, melt butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook for about 1 minute. While constantly stirring, slowly add a bit of milk. Continue adding more milk while stirring to prevent lumps from forming. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

white sauce in sauce pot with wire whisk

3. Assemble the cheesy cauliflower casserole:

In a cast iron skillet melt a little bit of butter. Add the cauliflower florets and saute them briefly. With a spoon, scoop the pumpkin right out of the skin into the skillet. Pour the sauce evenly over the cauliflower and pumpkin. Spread the grated cheese on top. Bake the casserole at 375˚F for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and starting to bubble.

Substitutions and variations

Here are some ideas for variations and substitutions for this pumpkin cauliflower gratin:

  • Pumpkin: You can also use sweet potatoes or other fall squashes in this dish. While I always prefer to use fresh pumpkins, you could also use canned pumpkin.
  • Flour: You can also use gluten-free flour or white spelt or einkorn flour.
  • Butter: Feel free to substitute the butter with olive oil.
  • Milk: You can easily use almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk for the white sauce.
  • Sour cream: While the sour cream adds a nice tanginess, you can also use heavy cream instead. Greek yogurt is also perfect!
  • Cheddar cheese: I love the sharp saltiness of this cheese but you can also use parmesan cheese, goat cheese, or any other cheese you have.
  • Other toppings: Try sprinkling pumpkin seeds or bread crumbs over the casserole before adding the cheese.
  • Other flavorings: You can add some garlic powder, freshly grated nutmeg, cumin seeds, thyme leaves, green onion, or your favorite flavors to the sauce.
cauliflower pumpkin casserole in cast iron skillet with towel

How to serve

  • This loaded cauliflower casserole is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving holiday table
  • You can serve this as a side with your favorite meat.
  • For a light supper, you can serve this with a green salad and crusty bread

Can you make this ahead of time?

Yes! You can make this cauliflower pumpkin casserole, cover it with aluminum foil and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You could also freeze it covered with plastic. When you are ready to serve it, simply place it in the oven at about 250˚F for about 15-20 mins. If it gets too brown on top, you can always cover it with some aluminum foil.

baked cauliflower pumpkin gratin in cast iron skillet with wooden serving spoon

Other … recipes you might like

Pumpkin Sourdough Bread Pudding

DIY Pumpkin Face Mask

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Stuffing

Chestnut Thanksgiving Stuffing

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cauliflower pumpkin casserole in cast iron skillet

Cheesy Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole

Whether you’re looking for a new Thanksgiving side dish or a creative vegetable gratin, this cauliflower pumpkin casserole is always a hit!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:35 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:55 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cleaned
  • ½ small pumpkin, without seeds and stringy part
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 6 oz milk
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 oz cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

  • In a large pot with a steamer basket, steam the vegetables until the pumpkin is very soft but the cauliflower is cooked but not mushy. Set aside
  • In a sauce pot, melt butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook for about 1 minute. While constantly stirring, slowly add a bit of milk. Continue adding more milk while stirring to prevent lumps from forming. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • In a cast iron skillet melt a little bit of butter. Add the cauliflower florets and saute them briefly. With a spoon, scoop the pumpkin right out of the skin into the skillet. Pour the sauce evenly over the cauliflower and pumpkin. Spread the grated cheese on top. Bake the casserole at 375˚F for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and starting to bubble.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower pumpkin casserole
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 266kcal
Author: Anja | Our Gabled Home
Cost: $11

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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How to Make a Cauliflower Pumpkin Casserole

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