Crazy Good Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

OK so here it is, a better healthier way to prepare Macaroni and cheese.
I have made this recipe several times at gatherings and everyone always asks for the recipe.

The fact that cauliflower is incorporated into this recipe, well, it makes it a a bit healthier. If your kids don’t like veggies, hide the cauliflower cutting it into small pieces, that is what I do when we have other kids eating this besides my kids.

This is really a crowd pleaser, you can also add shrimp, crab meat, and a different variety of cheeses. More than often I include crumbled Gruyere and blue cheese among other types. We are big cheese eaters. Hope you enjoy this mac and cheese :-)

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Crazy Good Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

12 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, we use more
1 1/2 cups reduced fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 400°F. In a pot cook together the pasta. When the pasta has about 3-4 minutes to be done add the cauliflower, drain.

In a saucepan add the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

In a bowl mix in the pepper, salt, low fat yogurt, milk, 1 cup of cheese, and mustard. Incorporate the pasta with the cauliflower to the cheese mixture.

Transfer the pasta to a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro.

You can broil for 3-5 minutes to brown the top. Enjoy.

Nutrition facts calculated based on the recipe yielding 6 servings.


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18 comments

  1. Okay… after reading this I 1) can’t wait to try this recipe and 2) can’t believe that with 2 children + prepping to apply to med school, you have time to host this blog. Good work!

    Instead of the red-fat mozz, I would probably test on this end w/Cabot’s 50% Red Fat Cheddar… I’m a big fan (obviously ;-) and I’m kinda partial to cheddar in mac and cheese… but I think the parm & provolone would be great add’ns!

    So glad I found your blog through the Nutrition Blog Network. Enjoyed!

    ~Regan

  2. This sounds delicious. I have a head of cauliflower that I need to use up so this may be what’s for dinner tonight. I’m just hoping my 7 year old won’t notice the cauliflower. I have gotten him to unknowingly eat carrots pureed and added to mac and cheese so here’s hoping he’ll eat this too. He is so anti “stuff” (onions, celery, peppers, etc.) in his food and won’t eat any veggies except corn on the cob and potatoes.*sigh*

    Best of luck on your entrance exams!!

  3. Hey Patti,

    make sure you cut the cauliflower into small pieces so he won’t be able to see it very good :-)

    He should taste the flavor of it with the macaroni and cheeses in there.

    Good luck! and thanks

  4. Regan,

    thanks. I am glad you like the recipe, let me know how it turns out.

  5. This recipe looks fantastic and I can’t wait to give it a try. I often use soft tofu in mine, this way I can use less cheese to help with the waistline but still get that creamy texture that you look for in a good Mac & Cheese. I love the addition of cauliflower! Good Luck on Med School.

  6. Soooo… I’ve been DYING to make this for a week or so, and finally did tonight. Funny thing is I forgot the milk! It was still good, just in no way gooey… HA!

    I didn’t have any regular onion in the house, how is beside me, so I used a bunch of green onions, and it was tasty!

    Thanks!

  7. Got to make this today and it got thumbs up from everyone in the house, so thank you! We aren’t a big cauliflower eating household. My husband even said “It’s good, even knowing what’s in it.” haha

  8. Thanks for posting a great recipie, mine is in the oven now! Can’t wait to try it. :)

  9. Erin, I hope you liked it as much as we do.
    Thanks for checking up my blog :-)

  10. I just made this for lunch and was really surprised. I thought I’d be able to detect the cauliflower for sure, and it’s good that I didn’t, because I absolutely hate cauliflower and won’t eat it. The oregano was definitely a good addition. Great recipe! :)

  11. I can’t wait to try this recipe. There is really something in this dish that I am really interested.
    dining room tables

  12. This was really good! I couldn’t fit all the pasta and cauliflower into the backing dish so mine was extra cheesy =) But still great.

  13. Made this last night and mine came out very watery. Im thinking next time I will steam the cauliflower and squeeze out the extra water. I loved the flavors and 4he recipe was so easy.

  14. This recipe looks delicious!  My daughter is doing a project on healthy cooking and she wanted to compare mac n cheese recipes.  This was her pick for the healthy recipe.  She will be doing a comparison of why this recipe is healthier than a traditional mac n cheese recipe.  I noticed that the sodium content seems to be quite high.  Is that the correct amount of sodium in the nutrition analysis?  If so, is it coming from the cheeses?  Can you recommend alternate cheese options with lower sodium?  
    Thanks for your input!  And for posting this recipe.

    • You can decrease the salt to 1/2 tsp instead of the 1 tsp and the Parmesan cheese to 1/2 as well. If you also half the provolone cheese the sodium content will go down to 800 mg.. If you omit the provolone it goes down to 700 mg. Those are the two major sources of sodium in the recipe. I hope this helps.

    • Thanks so much for your quick reply!

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