This easy recipe for cauliflower macaroni and cheese has all the great taste of everyone’s favorite casserole, with some healthy veggies mixed in! (Don’t tell them and they will never notice – it’s our secret!
I always am so interested in what the most popular recipe is on my blog, and over the years it has been the ham and egg crepe squares, then my easy method for making homemade ricotta cheese, and for the longest time, my little lasagna cupcakes. But for the last YEAR or so, it has been my cheesy cauliflower casserole.
So with that in mind, I decided that if regular old cauliflower and cheese was such a winner, a macaroni and cheese with cauliflower in it would be pretty great too! Which is how this recipe for cauliflower macaroni and cheese was born. Let’s make it!
It is basically a mash-up of that cheesy cauliflower casserole and my beloved stovetop creamy macaroni and cheese, with the main difference being that we have swapped out half the elbow noodles for tender steamed cauliflower florets. Thereby adding in a wonderful veggie that is pretty much in there incognito. I KNOW.
Side note: is it just me, or is there something about a head of cauliflower with its leaves that looks like a bouquet? It’s entirely possible that this is a product of my Mother Of The Bride brain talking. 62 DAYS TO GO.
Anyway, I like to sprinkle a few toasted breadcrumbs on top for a little crunch, and some fresh chopped parsley for some cheery green color, but both are totally optional. What is not optional is telling anyone there is good and good for you cauliflower hiding in their macaroni and cheese. Just smile and dish out all those second helpings they ask for. :)Print
This easy recipe for cauliflower macaroni and cheese has all the great taste of everyone’s favorite casserole, with some healthy veggies mixed in!
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 5 cups milk
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack
- 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar (I recommend Cabot)
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Toasted bread crumbs for garnish (optional, see note)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and simmer or steam until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Cook macaroni until tender in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
- Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour and whisk to combine, about one minute. Whisking constantly, add milk.
- Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, whisking occasionally.
- Take off heat and stir in cheeses and one teaspoon salt until cheese is fully melted. Add pasta and stir over medium low heat until heated through, 3-5 minutes. Stir in cauliflower.
- Ladle into warm dishes and garnish with parsley and breadcrumbs if using. Do not say one word about there being any cauliflower present. Do say yes to second helpings.
I do love me some breadcrumbs on mac and cheese, so here’s my easy breadcrumb method: whirl one slice of bread into crumbs in your food processor. Drizzle a little olive oil into a small skillet, add the crumbs and stir over medium high heat until the crumbs are crisp and toasty. A sprinkle of salt and there you have it – perfect little bread crumbs!
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Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. And if you make this recipe, I would love you to tag @FramedCooks on Instagram so I can see the deliciousness!