A gratin always has your back when you can’t think of simple meals with complex flavors.
And when you wish to use something other than potatoes, you can always rely on cauliflowers.
A cauliflower gratin is just as cheesy, crispy, and flavorful as a potato gratin.
Since it is a quick and easy dish, you’ll likely make it often.
So, if you know what to serve with cauliflower gratin, it’ll make your meal prep much easier.
In this article, we’ll look at the ten best side dishes for a cauliflower gratin and why you should serve them.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Cauliflower Gratin?
Like all gratin dishes, a cauliflower gratin is packed with cheese, browned breadcrumbs, and much aroma.
While this may sound like the perfect dish, it’s not the healthiest.
You want to ensure that you serve a mild flavor that complements the cheesy gratin.
Refreshing side dishes add more dimension to your meal and provide any lacking flavor or nutrients.
Hence, they make an essential part of every meal.
What to Serve with Cauliflower Gratin? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Plan your best cauliflower gratin meal with these refreshing salads, hearty soups, and more.
1 – Seaweed Salad
If you’re a fan of Asian foods and need something briny and tangy with a unique texture, you can always rely on seaweed.
After all, they’re salty and available in tender, crunchy, and rubbery textures.
This salad needs no more than rehydrated seaweed mixed with a rich sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and miso paste.
Additional ingredients like ginger and sesame seeds give it the final touch that makes it look and taste extraordinary.
Adding this dish to your meals will provide you with plenty of antioxidants, so you can stay confident that you’re not having a completely ‘unhealthy’ meal.
2 – Spring/Summer Rolls
Cheesy entrées call for fresh seasonal ingredients with minimal seasonings.
They add a touch of freshness to your meals and help bring your palate back to its ‘neutral’ state.
So, uniformly cut ingredients wrapped in rice paper is a must-try when serving a cauliflower gratin.
You can choose to serve spring or summer rolls depending on the season, as both have different cooking procedures.
Spring rolls usually consist of uncooked veggies wrapped in rice paper and fried until the crust gets golden and crispy.
Meanwhile, summer rolls contain veggies, seafood, and cooked noodles wrapped in rice paper and served as is.
3 – Beef Rissoles
Beef rissoles are ground beef mixed with aromatics, herbs, and breadcrumbs formed into patties and fried until cooked.
Even the thought of it feels extraordinary, so why wouldn’t it be great to pair it with a gratin dish?
Its crispy crust and moist interior are a perfect contrast to the tender gratin.
This side dish is an excellent source of carbs and protein and will keep you feeling full in no time.
It may not be the best dish for a carb-free diet like a keto diet, but if your taste buds love it, why not treat yourself to it once in a while?
4 – Wonton Soup
Wontons are Chinese dumplings stuffed with many ingredients, including prawns, shrimp, mushrooms, and veggies.
While they’re great when eaten as is, a wonton soup is the best you can serve with cauliflower gratin.
The soup broth helps you take in the other items in your meal easier and makes the meal hearty and comforting.
If you’re a fan of spices, a spicy wonton soup always makes an unmatched combo for a gratin.
However, if you have guests around, you might want to consider going for the mild version; they’ll surely put happy smiles on everyone’s faces.
5 – Bacon Wrapped Smokies
Meal prep gets even more exciting when you have a quick and flavorful dish that requires few ingredients and minimal preparation.
And we all know it, anything wrapped in bacon is bound to impress.
So, consider adding a little extra fat to your gratin meal by wrapping smokies (or small smoked sausages) in bacon and baking them until the bacon is cooked and crispy.
These complex textures make a pleasant contrast to the cheesy gratin.
Since this dish is quite savory, it does well to sprinkle some brown sugar on the finished product before serving.
6 – Lobster Skewer
Lobsters may be difficult to come by, especially if you don’t live by the sea.
But they’re one of the best foods you can pair with a cheesy dish, including cauliflower gratin.
The best part about this skewer is that it is quick and easy yet delivers a complex taste profile consisting of sweet, smoky, and briny elements.
Since lobster tails are the preferred meat source, skewering them allows each part to cook uniformly.
Despite being seafood, it doesn’t have an overwhelming fishy flavor and is delicate enough to melt in your mouth.
They’re like an upgraded version of crabs.
7 – Pickled Carrots
Carrots make excellent pickles.
While their crunchy textures hold much flavor when preserved in a pickling solution, you can always make a quick pickle when meals are in haste.
The crunchy texture of carrots makes an excellent accompaniment for the cheesy and tender cauliflower gratin.
Besides, their vibrant color makes the pickle visually appealing.
The key to making perfect pickled carrots is to use plenty of aromatics and spices.
Also, you want to sterilize your pickling jars before proceeding with the pickling process.
Doing so will keep your pickles safe to eat and taste their best.
As regards salt, use coarser salt instead of regular table salt to get vibrant results.
8 – Citrusy Smoked Salmon
Nothing beats a salmon dish paired with a cheesy delight.
Its smoky flavors and aroma is a crowd-pleasing aspect that needs to be on your dinner table every once in a while.
The great thing about salmon is that they already taste good, so you needn’t load them with excessive seasonings to bring out any other flavor.
Salt, pepper, and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice go a long way to make smoked salmon taste its finest.
While the cheeses of gratin aren’t much benefit to your health, the salmon gives you healthy fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.
Now your meals don’t have to be too unhealthy and plain.
9 – Spicy Bell Pepper Soup
Bell peppers have a distinct flavor that makes them suitable for many dishes.
When pairing with a cheesy gratin, you want to enhance its natural bittersweet elements by going liberal on the spice.
Roasting the peppers help release more of their flavors, so consider doing that.
However, you might want to leave some fresh peppers intact to add at the end of the cooking process; this will add a crunch to the soup.
This bell pepper soup cleanses your palate and readies it for the next bites.
That way, you can enjoy the gratin without drowning in its taste.
10 – Green Chicken Chili
You’ve likely heard of chicken chili, a bright orange-red dish with much spice.
Well, you should try the green version, not because it’s better, but because it’s just as addictive.
The primary flavor that dominates this dish is the lemony tanginess that envelopes the spicy meat.
It retains the satisfying taste of chicken meat and contrasts the fatty and cheesy gratin.
It is versatile and makes an excellent dish for any time of the day, and you can do it by simply switching a step or two.
For instance, you could cook the leftovers in broth and add some veggies to turn them into soup.
While choosing side dishes for a cauliflower gratin, you want to ensure they contain less fat and cheesy elements.
Other than that, you can get creative and explore all kinds of side dishes.
Pickles and salads work great as palate cleansers, while the soups and meaty dishes make your meal heartier and more comforting.
Whatever side dish you choose, you want to ensure they diversify your meal rather than add more of the same elements.
Follow this, and you’ll never have a boring gratin meal again.