Easy Cauliflower macaroni and cheese

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

  • Author: Kate Morgan Jackson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


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
  • Salt
  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. Cook macaroni until tender in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour and whisk to combine, about one minute. Whisking constantly, add milk.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, whisking occasionally.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!