Side dishes are my jam for Thanksgiving dinner! But I typically plan TOO BIG and have way too many things to prepare for the big dinner. So this year, I decided to try out a couple of pre-made side dishes to see if any would pass muster for my Thanksgiving dinner standards. The first I chose is Trader Joe’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin and I’m here to tell you about it. ‘Cause you need to know!
What is Trader Joe’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin?
In its usual fashion, Trader Joe’s has come through with lots and lots of options to help you get Thanksgiving dinner on the table.
Today we’re talking about Trader Joe’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin, which is a vegetable side dish made with chopped cauliflower, broccoli, and a creamy cheese sauce.
Gratin is the French term for a dish baked in cheese sauce and that’s exactly what you get here. The broccoli and cauliflower are baked in a mozzarella and Grana Padano sauce that’s made with a roux of butter and flour as thickeners and milk to create the sauce.
This type of sauce is exactly the same type of sauce as what you would make for baked mac and cheese! It’s incredibly simple to make and it creates a truly decadent base for baked mac and cheese, potatoes (au gratin potatoes!), or a vegetable side dish like this one.
Where In the Store?
You can find the Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin in the frozen aisle of Trader Joe’s. I found it in my store next to the frozen mac and cheese and the Turkey and Stuffing en Croute but the closer we get to Thanksgiving, you might be able to find it at the end of one of the frozen aisles.
How to Make this Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
The package instructions on this side dish gives you 2 options for preparing it: in the microwave and baked in the oven.
The microwave is the faster option of the two but I had no intentions of making this in the microwave after having grown up on mushy microwaved vegetables in the 80s and 90s.
So I popped the tray on top of the same baking sheet I was using to bake the turkey en croute when I made it a few weeks ago. This saved me some oven space, which is crucial to consider when planning a Thanksgiving menu!
And I baked the vegetable gratin for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. The package instructions say to bake this dish at 400 degrees F but I didn’t want to change the oven temperature because the turkey en croute was also cooking in there.
This Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin FAR exceeded our expectations! It was creamy, cheesy, flavorful, and the vegetables still had a bit of texture left even after having been baked in a cream sauce for 30 minutes.
Our 4 year old went back for thirds – THIRDS! – and even though she does like broccoli and cauliflower on their own, she gobbled (no pun intended) this up.
She’s still at an eating stage where she’s not keen on food that has been mixed together but that didn’t seem to stop her from loving on this broccoli and cauliflower gratin.
Buy It Again?
While I think I could make this Thanksgiving side dish pretty easily, I still wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again in the future. It makes for a quick and delicious side dish, and now I know how simple it is to prepare too!