One-Pot 30 Minute Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese.

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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!

Homemade cauliflower macaroni and cheese pasta

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!

FOR KIDS:
-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 and pasta cooked together

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.

pasta and cauliflower for macaroni and cheese

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.

ingredients for cauliflower macaroni and cheese

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.

milk being poured into cauliflower macaroni and cheese
butter and spices being added to cauliflower macaroni and cheese

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.

Baked 4-Cheese Homemade Macaroni and Cheese would be a great recipe to try if your family loves homemade mac & cheese! Or…Jalapeno Popper Macaroni and Cheese for a fun twist on the classic.

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!

a forkful of cauliflower macaroni and cheese

Give it a try…I bet your whole family loves it. Or at least tolerates it. Which is basically the same thing.

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5 from 1 vote

Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese

A creamy macaroni and cheese full of flavor and added nutrition boost of cauliflower cooked up with the pasta. One-pot meal in under 30 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 minute, one-pot, pasta, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
# of servings 6 servings
Calories 386kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Try adding 3 ounces of cream cheese with the milk and seasonings for added creaminess.
A dollup of yogurt and sour cream boosts the creaminess and adds a nice tangy flavor. 

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 20gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 345mgPotassium: 484mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 703IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 416mgIron: 1mg
Tag @miznelliebellie on Instagram and hashtag it #NBRecipes so I can see it and see what you made!

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5 thoughts on “One-Pot 30 Minute Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese.”

    1. Oh my, I certainly didn’t mean to mislead anyone. You could certainly sub cauliflower for all of the pasta, if you like, but I found that children aren’t as keen to eat it because the texture changes significantly. Using a bit of pasta keeps some of the familiar firm texture while subbing cauliflower for some of it introduces nutrition – tasty!

  1. This looks to die for. I remember when I was on WW I substituted cauliflower for potatoes. It was fantastic!

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