Last week I asked my social media followers what Thanksgiving foods are unique to their family, foods that are rare to find on a Thanksgiving spread. I’ve heard lasagna, wild rice, burnt ham, and more! It made me laugh! Each family seems to have their own Thanksgiving staples among the common turkey and mashed potatoes. I love that food is such a big part of culture, definitely an important part of family nutrition and developing a positive relationship with food.

For me this obscure staple food is Creamed Cauliflower. It’s not too obscure, but I don’t often see it on Thanksgiving spreads. Do you?

I think it complements the other meal staples, but also includes a non-starchy veggie which I appreciate (after all I’m a dietitian, you know).

And you know I’m all about simple recipes—and this really couldn’t get much simpler. I, of course, don’t expect you to be adding this is your family’s Thanksgiving meal. However, it’s so simple, you can really make it a dinnertime side any day of the week.

So don’t forget to pin this post to your Pinterest board to save it for an add in to your weeknight meals or maybe even with your Thanksgiving leftovers!

I’m amazed at how versatile cauliflower has become—it can be rice, it can be potatoes, it can be crackers. If cauliflower can be anything it wants to be, so can you! I think it’s a bit comical how much everyone loves cauliflower now, but I can’t say I’m against it. I love it, too!

Creamed Cauliflower

The most basic way to describe this recipe is: cooked cauliflower in a creamy roux sauce.

It’s customizable, too. I plan to experiment with adding parmesan or bacon to enrich the flavor. But again, on its own it’s already a great side dish. I’d add this creamed cauliflower along something hearty like roast beef or turkey, maybe with a nice salad, and a roll. That sounds good doesn’t it? I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it!

Getting the Kids Involved

As with every recipe I share, I like to find ways to get your involved kids, too. My son isn’t even two yet and already begs to help in the kitchen.

Little ones may be able to break apart cauliflower, with clean hands, of course. But the rest is likely too dangerous, so we will leave it to the older kids for this one. For older children and teens, making the roux (flour and butter) is a great skill that can be transferred to so many other dishes and recipes.

Following directions is essential for this recipe and is perfect for helping kids learn how to do just that! And if this type of dish is brand new to them, they may be more likely to eat it, too.

Simple Creamed Cauliflower

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • parmesan to taste


  • Wash and break up cauliflower into bite-size florets.
  • Steam cauliflower until tender. You may do this on the stovetop or microwave steam for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk flour into the butter, and continue cooking for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.
  • Add milk slowly to the mixture, and continue stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
  • Add seasonings to taste, then mixture with drained cauliflower. Serve warm.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

With joy,