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Go-to cauliflower and gnocchi cheese bake

Serves   4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

The perfect winter warmer, this scrumptious vegetarian dish is easy enough that kids can help out as well. If there is any left (and we don’t guarantee there will be), it also makes a nourishing, tasty lunch.

  • Dinner
  • Cauliflower
  • Cheese
  • Vegetarian
Gnocchi bake




  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 500g pre-prepared gnocchi
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • ½ cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese
  • Baby spinach leaves, to serve
  • Store-bought vinaigrette, to serve (optional)
Crumb Topping:
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

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  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan forced). Spread the cauliflower florets out on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil. Roast for 15 minutes, or until just tender and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside for later.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi, bring to the boil again and cook for 2 minutes or until the gnocchi rise to the surface. Drain.
  3. Make the crumb topping by mixing the breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside for later. 
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and mix. Add half the milk; whisk to remove any lumps. Add the remaining milk and continue whisking. Stir in the nutmeg and mustard powder and season to taste. Simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes, or until thickened. 
  5. Add the cooked gnocchi, cauliflower florets and parmesan to the pan and stir gently. Spoon into 4 x 3-cup capacity baking dishes. Sprinkle over the crumb topping and bake for 20 minutes.
Cook’s Tips: 
Get inspired: For a bolder flavour, mix a blue cheese like gorgonzola into the sauce. 
Make this dish extra tasty for meat lovers by adding fried crispy bacon to the sauce.
To Serve:
Serve with baby spinach leaves dressed with vinaigrette. Alternatively, this meal is great with a tasty green salad and a stick of buttery garlic bread to share.