A one-pot, 30 minute, vegetarian dinner the whole family will love! Cauliflower sneaks in with the pasta to create this creamy macaroni and cheese and add additional nutrients without sacrificing flavor. You’ll never make traditional mac & cheese again!
Have you tried my Cauliflower Potato Salad. A crazy popular recipe because it tastes just like the real thing…better even!
Cauliflower. I’m going to admit that when I was a child I thought this veggie was a cruel joke by God. Why would he create such an utterly horrible and awful vegetable? As an adult I understand. As a parent, I really really understand!
-Make sure to keep kid-friendly pasta on hand. Shapes and alphabet pasta goes a long way in getting kids to eat what they usually might turn their noses up to.
-Ask them to “test” the cheese to be sure it tastes as it should before it goes into the pasta.
-Let them brainstorm additions that might make this recipe better. Maybe they would like ketchup on top? Crushed potato chips? Maybe add extra cheese? Let them customize their own, a little.
If your family likes cauliflower try mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. Same effort, more nutrition! I have the tips and tricks for PERFECT, non-watery mashed cauliflower every time.
Cauliflower is a powerhouse veggie of vitamins and minerals with the extra magical ability of hiding. A chameleon veggie? That’s pretty powerful stuff!
TIME-SAVING HACK: Use frozen cauliflower florets. Simply add another couple of minutes to the cooking time to allow for the extra cooking needed. A great time-saving hack!
Sweet potatoes work great, as well, for hiding in macaroni and cheese. If you find that this cauliflower version doesn’t get your family on board, try adding cooked and diced sweet potatoes to the pasta (at the very end) and use sharp cheddar instead of white cheddar.
Today I’m showing you how to teach it to hide it and pretend it’s pasta. No…for real. Cauliflower as pasta. It knows how to do that!
As one of ten kids, I have had my fair share of macaroni and cheese. Us ten kids ate a lot of mac & cheese, cereal, and tuna sandwiches. We REALLY REALLY loved the blue box version, although we often got the store-brand version of mac and cheese. I’m sure the budget dictated that :). Today, I won’t buy the store-brand. Only the blue box. And my family doesn’t thinks I’m silly.
I always mix a bit of flour into my milk (sub out almond or soy milk if needed) to help thicken up the mac & cheese.
TIP: Use a freshly shredded block of cheese for the ultimate in meltiness. Cheese that already comes shredded has a bit of flour and preservatives to keep it fresh and not-clump. It doesn’t melt as nicely.
As an expert on boxed macaroni cheese, I can confirm that no homemade mac and cheese tastes like the box version. You will not fool your kids. Don’t try.
White cheddar works great for this recipe because the coloring mimics the cauliflower helping to hide the veggie. I mean, your small kids will still notice the cauliflower. Let’s be real, you could hide a piece the size of a speck inside a chocolate cake and they would still find it. BUT…maybe, just maybe…they will say yum! Fingers crossed.
This cauliflower macaroni and cheese comes together in under 30 minutes all in one pot. Bonus nutritiou, vegetarian (although try adding diced ham for an extra protein punch), delicious, and a family dinner everyone will love!
Give it a try…I bet your whole family loves it. Or at least tolerates it. Which is basically the same thing.
Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese
- 8 oz medium size pasta we use veggie pasta!
- 1 head cauliflower cored and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder minced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 10 ounces white cheddar cheese
- spices to flavor we suggest hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or dijion mustard
- In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook pasta until about 5 minutes are left until finished.
- Add cauliflower to pasta. Cook until pasta is done. Note…the larger you chop the cauliflower the more time you should add.
- Drain and return to the pan, remove from heat.
- Whisk the flour and milk together.
- Add the milk, butter, and seasonings to the pan.
- Stir for about 1 minute until it begins to thicken.
- Turn heat to low and add cheddar cheese just until melted in.
- Optional: add a bit of hot sauce or cayenne pepper.
A dollup of yogurt and sour cream boosts the creaminess and adds a nice tangy flavor.