Cauli Mac and Cheese
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For those who want all the indulgence of Mac and Cheese but want to feel slightly better about eating it, why not make this awesome Cauli Mac and Cheese dish instead? You will get all the benefits of a beautiful Mac and Cheese, but you’ll feel way better about it because you’re eating vegetables! Look, we’re not saying this is a truly healthy dish, only that it’s a great way to get some veggies into you. In our opinion this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe tastes every part as good as a regular Mac and Cheese!

It’s just a Cauli Cheese recipe, there is no Macaroni in the recipe!

Ok we’ll level with you. This recipe is essentially a Cauli Cheese recipe. There is no Macaroni added to the dish, so there are not anywhere near as many carbs as you would have in a traditional Mac and Cheese. The Cauliflower acts as the main protein in the dish and the Cheese sauce is a classic Béchamel Sauce

So, it is prepared quite similarly to how a traditional Mac and Cheese is made. There are some slight nuances though given we are using Cauliflower instead of a Pasta for this recipe

Cauli Cheese is quite a nostalgic dish and has been around for decades. Many of you will likely remember eating this dish, or variations of this dish as a kid. What is so amazing about Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, however, is it has never gone out of style. Other dishes such as Chicken Kiev, dropped in popularity, but are now coming back. However, Cauli Mac and Cheese has just always been popular

Probably because it tastes so darn good!

Cauli Mac and Cheese on fork
Cauli Mac and Cheese is a simple dish. A cheesy Béchamel Sauce coating beautifully roasted Cauliflower florets

Cauli Mac and Cheese is a relatively simple dish, however it requires two primary cooking methods

The main difference between making a Cauliflower Mac and Cheese and regular Mac and Cheese is how you prepare the Cauliflower. There are a few different ways you can cook Cauliflower but by far and away the best method is oven roasting

Cutting up the Cauliflower into florets and roasting it in the oven with Olive Oil and Salt extracts the most beautiful flavors from this amazing vegetable. The Cauliflower will absorb those wonderful flavors you’ve added and caramelize over time as it roasts. The result is a rich, sweet, and nutty flavor. The Cauliflower is completely transformed in both looks and texture by oven roasting. In our opinion, it’s the only way to prepare Cauliflower when making Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

The second cooking method is to make a beautiful, creamy, Béchamel Sauce. While the Cauliflower is roasting away in the Oven, make a classic Béchamel Sauce on the stovetop in a large pot. Melt Butter and cook AP Flour into it until a roux forms. Then slowly pour in Milk and reduce until it thickens to a beautiful Béchamel Sauce

Roasted Cauliflower on Sheet Pan
To get the best flavor from the Cauliflower, roast the florets in the oven until they are beautiful and caramelized

Then it’s cheese time! Pile in the Cheese into the Sauce to create the most beautiful Cheese Sauce for this Cauli Mac and Cheese Recipe. If you time things right, the Cheese sauce will be done by the time the Cauliflower has finished roasting in the oven. Simply combine them both, mix around and you’ve got the most delicious Cauliflower Mac and Cheese dish ready to be devoured by the hungry masses

Optional: Toast Panko Breadcrumbs with some Butter then sprinkle over the Cauli Mac and Cheese right before serving for some added texture

Many Mac and Cheese aficionados swear by this, so we’d be remiss not to mention breadcrumbs. Lightly toasting some Breadcrumbs in a frying pan with some melted butter then adding them to the Cauli Mac and Cheese right before serving adds a great flavor and texture to the dish

This an optional step, so totally up to you if you want to include toasted Breadcrumbs. They do add a lovely crunchy texture which does work well with the Cauliflower. Our recommendation would be to use Panko Breadcrumbs. They are larger than other breadcrumbs, so you’ll get a nicer crunchy texture when added to the dish

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a fantastic side dish to pair with these delicious meals

There’s no denying that Cauli Mac and Cheese is a top tier side dish. We love making a big batch of this stuff then freezing what we don’t need right away. Then, next time we’re making one of these delicious meals we just heat it up and it’s good to go! Here are some of our favorite meals to prepare with Cauli Mac and Cheese as a side dish:

Cauli Mac and Cheese close up
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a classic side dish, perfect with a hearty protein for a great meal

Recipe Details

Servings

4 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Total time

55 minutes

Cauli Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 cups of Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Gruyere Cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Scatter the Cauliflower florets evenly across a large sheet pan. Drizzle with Olive Oil and 2 tsp. of Salt and mix well to combine. Roast in the oven pre-heated to 375F for 25 – 30 minutes. Turning once about halfway through until the Cauliflower is roasted and caramelized
  2. While the Cauliflower is roasting in the oven, make a Bechamel Sauce by first adding the Butter into a large saucepan over medium / low heat
  3. Once the Butter has melted, add the Flour, and whisk constantly to incorporate into the Butter. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly
  4. Slowly pour the Milk into the Saucepan while whisking continuously. The goal is to avoid there being any lumpy bits as you whisk to combine the Milk with the Flour and Butter
  5. Continue to whisk the mixture slowly for about 10 – 15 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Once the sauce is thick enough to easily coat the back of the spoon it is at the right consistency
  6. Add the Dijon Mustard, Cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan Cheese to the sauce. Mix well to combine then season with Salt. Start with 2 tsp. of Salt and check the flavor. Adjust accordingly until you are happy with the flavor then remove from heat
  7. By now the Cauliflower will be cooked. Remove from the Oven and add to the Sauce. Mix well to combine and you are ready to serve

Notes

Note: You can roast the Cauliflower in advance and just leave it at room temperature or refrigerate. Provided it is warmed through well in the sauce just before serving it will be fine

An optional addition is to lightly toast Breadcrumbs in a frying pan with a little bit of butter. Once golden, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the Cauli Mac and Cheese for some added texture

Happy Cooking!

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