Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Creamy stovetop mac and cheese made healthier with low-fat milk, whole grain pasta, and a generous helping of roasted cauliflower.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

This week, the #SundaySupper family is partnering with American Family Insurance to encourage healthy eating habits.

We all have a dream, right?

My dream is to one day feed people from the comforts of my own bakery/café. I have it all mapped out. My little space will be full of books and comfortable seating. I’ll know all of my customers by name and greet them as they walk through the door. As I stand behind the counter taking orders and whisking up batches of cupcakes, I’ll watch their faces light when they bite into one of my cookies. There will be lots of cookies. Oh, and donuts. Lots and lots of donuts.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

American Family Insurance encourages their clients to dream big, and when they do, they’ll be there to protect their investment.

AmFam Choose Dreams Logo

I don’t know about you, but dreaming big makes me hungry.

A hunger this fierce requires comfort food. For me, the very definition of comfort food is cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

In order to stay healthy and happy, I slipped some roasted cauliflower into a huge pot of bubbling cheese sauce and stirred in a few noodles.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

Parents, if you want your kids to eat more veggies, all you have to do is smother them in cheese. Heck, I’ll eat a dirty shoe if it’s smothered in cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

I made this mac and cheese healthier by using low-fat milk and swapping regular pasta for whole-grain pasta. I used an entire head of cauliflower that I chopped up into bite-size pieces and roasted until toasty and perfectly golden brown. The roasted cauliflower gets folded into the cheese sauce right along with the noodles.

Each bite is full of crunchy cauliflower, melted cheese, and whole grain noodle goodness.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

I made this big pot of mac and cheese right on the stovetop in under 30 minutes. The trick to extra creamy stovetop mac is cream cheese. I stirred in 2 ounces of low-fat cream cheese to create a rich, creamy cheese sauce.

To add crunch, I topped the mac with toasted panko bread crumbs.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com

Go ahead and fill that plate up!

For more recipe inspiration, follow the Family Favorites Turned Healthy #ChooseDreams Pinterest board.

For more #ChooseDreams inspiration, follow American Family Insurance on YouTube, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Rich, creamy stovetop mac and cheese made healthier with low-fat milk, whole grain pasta, and lots of roasted cauliflower.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

Roasted Cauliflower:

1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Panko Bread Topping:

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Mac & Cheese:

1 (13.5 ounce) box whole grain pasta, cooked according to package instructions and drained

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups low-fat milk (1% or 2%)

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

2 cups monterey jack cheese

2 ounces low-fat cream cheese (neufchatel)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

 

 

Directions:

To make the roasted cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the cauliflower florets on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.

To make the panko bread crumbs: Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add bread crumbs to the prepared sheet and add olive oil. Using your fingers, toss the bread crumbs to coat with oil. Bake for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

To make the cheese sauce:

While the cauliflower is roasting, add the butter to a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until melted. Add the diced onions and a pinch of salt; stir to combine. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Slowly whisk in the milk. Turn the heat up to medium and allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 6-8 minutes. You'll know when the mixture is ready with the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Once the mixture thickens, stir in the salt, pepper, dijon mustard, and worcestershire sauce.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese until smooth (small lumps are okay). Slowly stir in the cheddar and monterey jack cheese until smooth. Fold in the pasta and roasted cauliflower. Transfer the mixture to a casserole or serving dish. Top with toasted bread crumbs. Serve immediately.

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SSbadge-150x150Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Savory

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Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese by The Messy Baker
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

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64 Responses to “Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese”

  1. #
    1
    Renee — June 22, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Scrumptious recipe (have I mentioned how much I love both roasted cauliflower and cheese?) AND gorgeous photos.

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Thanks, Renee. Roasted cauliflower is my fav!

      Reply

  2. #
    2
    Marjory @ Dinner-Mom — June 22, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Delish. I haven’t tried sneaking cauliflower into mac ‘n cheese…yet. But, I think this one is a winner!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Thanks, Marjory.

      Reply

  3. #
    3
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious — June 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Mmmm…cauliflower and cheese!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Yes, and yes!

      Reply

  4. #
    4
    Laura Dembowski — June 22, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Okay looking at this before breakfast was a serious mistake. So hungry now! Macaroni and cheese is always awesome, especiallywhen it’s made on the stove top. But I just love cauliflower in anything. Great addition!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:16 am

      There’s nothing wrong with a little mac for breakfast :)

      Reply

  5. #
    5
    Katie — June 22, 2014 at 8:49 am

    mmmm! I am with you – I’d eat an old shoe if it was covered in cheese…why is cheese so darn awesome? This mac looks stellar – and I love that there is roasted cauliflower involved!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Exactly. Cheese=deliciousness.

      Reply

  6. #
    6
    Constance Smith (@FoodieArmyWife) — June 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I NEED a bowl of this. Stat!
    And speaking of bowls, those dishes you used are gorgeousness!!!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Connie. The bowls are from Anthro.

      Reply

  7. #
    7
    Deanna Samaan — June 22, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I love the cauliflower touch to this!! YUMMY!!!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Deanna!

      Reply

  8. #
    8
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — June 22, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I ADORE cauliflower! This mac looks fabulous! Pinned!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Anna!

      Reply

  9. #
    9
    Susan — June 22, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I swear cauliflower is like the wonder vegetable. You can do so many yummy things with it! Loving this recipe!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:18 am

      It is. I’ve seen people turning it into pizza dough. Genius!

      Reply

  10. #
    10
    Shannon @VillageGirlBlog — June 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I can so picture your super cute shop : ) This is such an awesome way to bulk up a dish without the added calories. Love it! Mmmm

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Thanks, Shannon!

      Reply

  11. #
    11
    Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) — June 22, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I love cauliflower, but have been having a hard time getting hubby to eat it. I think that between your mac and cheese and Brianne’s cauli-tots, I might make him a convert!! I can’t wait to try this.

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:19 am

      You’re sure to convert him with the two recipes. Thanks, Wendy!

      Reply

  12. #
    12
    Family Foodie — June 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

    This is such a great idea…. it looks absolutely fantastic!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, Isabel!

      Reply

  13. #
    13
    Courtney @ Neighborfood — June 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I haven’t tried this cauliflower pasta trick yet, but it almost sounds too good to be true! I can’t wait to give it a whirl. Also, LOVE those bowls! So pretty!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, Courtney!

      Reply

  14. #
    14
    Bea — June 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    The absolute perfect comfort food to me is Mac & Cheese and adding cauliflower sounds amazing!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, Bea!

      Reply

  15. #
    15
    Cindys Recipes and Writings — June 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I’m a mac and cheese nut! Cauliflower only makes this better!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Me, too! Thanks, Cindy!

      Reply

  16. #
    16
    Run DMT — June 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I’m with you. Cheese is total comfort food. I would eat it over chocolate.

    Love this dish and all its cheesiness. It’s a perfect Meatless Monday dish. Have you ever made it with reduced fat cheese? Does it work well?

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:21 am

      I haven’t tried reduced-fat cheese, so I can’t say. I grate my own cheese because it tends to melt better than the pre-shredded cheese.

      Reply

  17. #
    17
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — June 22, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Two of my favorite things. Of course combined they will be amazing!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Thanks, Brianne.

      Reply

  18. #
    18
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — June 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Yum! What a great sub for mac and cheese! I could totally eat this and not miss the pasta at all!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Thanks, Jen!

      Reply

  19. #
    19
    Heather // girlichef — June 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Oh my garsh, yum! Sign me up, I have an empty bowl ready and begging for a huge serving of this to be in it. Also some dirty shoes, but I had the choice… ;P

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 am

      It’s healthy, so get ready for a double serving :)

      Reply

  20. #
    20
    Alida — June 22, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    This mac ‘n cheese looks so creamy and delicious….I love that you used cauliflower to lighten it up! Can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Thanks, Alida!

      Reply

  21. #
    21
    Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere — June 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Delicious! You can’t go wrong with roasted cauliflower. Or cheese!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Thanks, Sarah!

      Reply

  22. #
    22
    Julie — June 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I would totally come hang out at your bakery/cafe! Sounds like my kind of place!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Thanks, Julie!

      Reply

  23. #
    23
    Mary Frances — June 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Kids will eat anything covered in cheese – ain’t that the truth! Cheese is pretty amazing. I would come to, er, make that live in, your bakery, Jennie :)

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Agreed! Thanks, Mary Frances.

      Reply

  24. #
    24
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — June 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Can I have a job at your restaurant? That sounds super cozy. I am picturing the little cafe/bakery from Stranger Than Fiction. I hope that is what you are going for! I haaaaave to share this recipe with my SIL’s! My nieces and nephews are obsessed with mac and cheese!!!! They would devour this!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Of course you can, Stef. We would have so much fun together. Yes, just like the one in Stranger Than Fiction. So homey and comfortable.

      Reply

  25. #
    25
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked — June 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    WHOA, Jennie – this dish is amazing! It looks so rich, satisfying, hearty ‘n comforting and I love that it’s lightened up with all that fabulous roasted cauliflower. Also, lol at the dirty shoe reference. I might now go that far but you’re right, most things are definitely made 1000% better with cheese. Can I come and work at your bakery? I need to ditch this day job of mine and help you live out both our dreams. It’ll be heaven!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:26 am

      I’m definitely going to need help, so of course! Working together would be a hoot. Thanks, Nancy!

      Reply

  26. #
    26
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron — June 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

    This is such a genius recipe! Love that it’s lighter but still looks super creamy and cheesy and delicious! Pinned :)

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Chelsea.

      Reply

  27. #
    27
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — June 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Love this lightened up comfort food! It looks amazing!

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Jess!

      Reply

  28. #
    28
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — June 25, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Oooh. A healthier mac and cheese! Love it. I actually really hate cauliflower but if you say it just needs some cheese sauce… I guess I can give it another shot. ;)

    Reply

    • Jennie replied July 3rd, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Thanks, Erin. Broccoli would be tasty. Mmm, broccoli and cheese.

      Reply

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