Cauliflower cheese is a classic comfort food dish that is loved by many.
If you are looking to take your cauliflower cheese to the next level, then you need to try adding some herbs and spices into the mix.
This will elevate the flavors and make your dish even more delicious.
And, as you know, knowing what goes with cauliflower cheese can be tricky.
So if you are wondering what herbs and spices go with cauliflower cheese, then you are in the right place.
I’m sharing 13 of the best herbs and spices to add to your cauliflower cheese including garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary, mustard, and more.
What Herbs And Spices Go with Cauliflower Cheese?
There are many herbs and spices that go well with cauliflower cheese. Some of the most popular choices include thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and basil. You can also add a bit of garlic or onion powder to give the dish an extra boost of flavor.
If you want to spice things up a bit, you can try adding cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Cauliflower cheese is a classic comfort food that can be enjoyed all year round.
While it might seem like a simple dish, there are actually a lot of different herbs and spices that go into making it taste just right.
Here are 13 of the best herbs and spices to use in your next batch of cauliflower cheese:
Thyme dances between earthy and minty flavors and goes beautifully with rich, creamy dishes like cauliflower cheese.
If you’re using fresh thyme, strip the leaves from the stems before adding it to the dish.
You’ll want to use about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme for every 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme called for in a recipe.
When it comes to drying thyme, you can do it one of two ways: by air-drying or using a dehydrator.
If you choose to air-dry, cut the stems and place them in a paper bag with the leaves facing up.
Hang the bag upside down in a cool, dark place until the leaves are completely dry (this could take up to two weeks).
If you have a dehydrator, set it to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and place the thyme on the dehydrator tray.
Dry for about eight hours or until completely dry.
Once dry, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Related post: What Fish Goes with Cauliflower Cheese
Rosemary carries a very powerful aroma, so a little goes a long way.
It’s best to use fresh rosemary if you can, as the dried version can be quite tough and woody.
If using dried, soak it in water for about 10 minutes before adding it to your dish.
When adding rosemary to cauliflower cheese, it’s best to do so towards the end of cooking, as the heat will help release the flavor without making it too overwhelming.
Related: What Wine Goes with Cauliflower Cheese
Sage has a pronounced earthy and slightly peppery taste that goes really well with cauliflower.
I like to use it both in the cheese sauce and as a topping for my cauliflower cheese.
If you’re using sage leaves, you’ll want to use about double the amount of fresh sage as you would dried.
Oregano has a strong spicy taste with sweet undertones, which makes it a great herb to use in cauliflower cheese.
I like to add a teaspoon of dried oregano to the cheese sauce before pouring it over the cooked cauliflower.
You could also use fresh oregano, but you would need to use less as the flavor is more intense.
If you’re not sure how much to use, start with a quarter of a teaspoon and add more to taste.
Basil is a balance between sweet and savory, making it a perfect addition to cauliflower cheese.
I like to use about 1 teaspoon of dried basil or 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil.
If using dried basil, I add it to the cheese sauce along with the other spices.
If using fresh basil, I wait to add it until after the cheese sauce has been poured over the cauliflower and before putting the dish in the oven.
This way, the heat from baking doesn’t cause the basil to lose its flavor.
6. Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is garlicky but vastly different than fresh-chopped garlic or garlic salt.
It’s made from ground, dehydrated garlic cloves and delivers a milder, more consistent flavor than either fresh or garlic salt.
You can use garlic powder in any dish that you would use garlic salt, like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or grilled chicken.
It’s also a key ingredient in many spice blends, like Cajun seasoning, chili powder, and Garam Masala.
When using garlic powder, start with less than you think you need and add more to taste.
It’s easy to go overboard and then you’re stuck with an overly garlicky dish.
7. Onion Powder
Onion powder tends to taste even more onion-y when used in cauliflower cheese, so I like to use it sparingly.
I’ll add a teaspoon or so to the sauce, and then top the dish with some freshly chopped chives before baking.
The chives add a nice onion flavor without being overwhelming, and they also look pretty!
8. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is mostly hot and a little fruity, with a sharp, biting flavor.
It’s used to add heat to dishes, but can also be used to add depth of flavor.
When using cayenne pepper in cauliflower cheese, I like to add it to the cheese sauce.
This way, the heat is evenly distributed throughout the dish.
Cayenne pepper can be added at the beginning or the end of cooking, depending on how much heat you want in the dish.
If you’re not sure how much to use, start with a small amount and then taste as you go.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
9. Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes hold a complex flavor that is both fiery and fruity, making it a great addition to cauliflower cheese.
I like to use about 1/4 teaspoon per serving.
You can add the flakes directly to the sauce, or if you want a little more control over the heat, you can put them on the table and let everyone add their own.
Just be warned, a little goes a long way!
The taste of paprika can vary from mild to hot, depending on the type of chili pepper used to make it.
The most common varieties are made from bell peppers, but it can also be made from hotter peppers, like cayenne or jalapeño.
I like to use paprika in cauliflower cheese because it adds a nice depth of flavor without being too spicy.
I usually add a teaspoon of paprika to the cheese sauce along with some salt and pepper.
You could also sprinkle some paprika on top of the dish before baking it for a little extra flavor and color.
11. Mustard Powder
Mustard powder tastes like… mustard.
It’s sharp, tangy, and a little bit spicy.
It’s also really versatile and can be used in sweet or savory dishes.
I like to use it in cauliflower cheese because it adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish.
And, it’s a great way to add some extra spice without making the dish too hot.
To use mustard powder in cauliflower cheese, simply add it to the cheese sauce along with some salt and pepper to taste.
You can also add a little bit of mustard powder to the breadcrumb topping for an extra kick.
Nutmeg tastes nutty, warm, and slightly sweet, making it a perfect addition to cauliflower cheese.
I like to use both the ground spice and the whole nut, depending on what I’m making.
If I’m using it in a sauce, I’ll add a pinch of ground nutmeg, but if I’m using it as a topping for roasted cauliflower, I’ll grate fresh nutmeg over the top.
You only need a little bit to flavor the dish, so start with less than you think you need and then add more to taste.
13. White Pepper
Often described as musty, grassy, white pepper is actually the same berry as black pepper, only it’s allowed to ripen longer on the vine.
This extra time results in a more mellow flavor that’s perfect for dishes where you don’t want the heat of black pepper, like cauliflower cheese.
White pepper is also great for adding a bit of spice to sweet dishes, like apple pie.
When using white pepper, I like to grind it fresh from the peppercorn for the best flavor.
You can also use pre-ground white pepper, but start with less and add more to taste.
What Herbs And Spices Go with Cauliflower Cheese? 13 Options
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Mustard Powder
- White Pepper
- Pick your favorite herbs and spices from this list to use in your cauliflower cheese recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your tasty meal.
- Enjoy in no time!