Print

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is made with simple pantry ingredients and is super comforting and wholesome. Cauliflower adds the most delicious flavor while also adding a nutrition boost making this comfort food classic much healthier too!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 370kcal
Author I Heart Eating

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 12 ounce package dry pasta
  • 12 ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese in 8 pieces
  • 8 ounce package sharp white cheddar cheese grated or in small cubes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • butter cracker crumbs (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 2.5-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add cauliflower, and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the cauliflower is tender, remove from water, puree until smooth, and then set aside.
  • I skim the cauliflower out so that I can use the boiling water for the pasta, too. Once you have removed the cauliflower from the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions.
  • Meanwhile, begin the cheese sauce. Add evaporated milk to a large saucepan. Warm milk to simmer, and then add cream cheese.
  • Stir until cream cheese melts. Add the cauliflower puree, 1 cup cheddar cheese, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper; stir to combine.
  • Pour half noodles into prepared baking dish. Cover with half of the cheese sauce. Add the remaining noodles.
  • Pour remaining sauce over noodles, and pour remaining cheese over sauce. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
  • Remove foil, and sprinkle with crumbs, if using, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Notes

Nutrition values are estimates. 
  • To avoid lumps bring the cream cheese out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before cooking. If you do get lumps whisk the sauce until melted.
  • I love to use a white sharp cheddar but you can use any good melting cheese such as fontina or gruyere (mozzarella won't work well in the sauce but you can use it to top the dish at the end).
  • Any short pasta noodle will work well for this recipe.
  • You can prep this cauliflower mac and cheese in advance just store in the fridge before baking.
  • You can use any breadcrumbs or crackers for a crispy topping.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and eaten cold or reheated in the oven. The pasta may turn quite soft as it'll have absorbed a lot of moisture but it will still taste great.
I don't recommend freezing this dish since dairy doesn't free well and the texture and flavor may change

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 12.5mg | Calcium: 384mg | Iron: 1mg