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Cauliflower With Southwest Cheese Sauce

Prep time 15 mins
Bake time 55 mins
Cook time 6 mins
Yield Makes 6 servings
After the cauliflower has baked almost 40 minutes, start the cheese sauce.


  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 lb.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Trim bottom leaves from cauliflower. Remove core, leaving head intact. Place cauliflower on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Loosely fold sides of foil up and over cauliflower; crimp sides of foil together to seal, leaving top of foil open. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. water over cauliflower. Crimp top of foil together to seal. (Foil should be loose, allowing cauliflower to steam.) Place foil-covered cauliflower in a roasting pan.

  2. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour until a paste forms, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in evaporated milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Whisk in cheese until melted. Whisk in tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper.

  4. Remove cauliflower from oven and fold foil halfway down sides of cauliflower. Top cauliflower with cheese sauce, and sprinkle with paprika and salt to taste.

  5. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.