Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

No one will guess that the rich, cheesy flavor of this macaroni and cheese is a blend of puréed cauliflower, cheddar, Parmesan, and Dijon. The sauce uses an ounce of cheese per serving, so the sharper the cheese, the better. I like to use goat cheddar, but an extra sharp white cheddar is also a good choice.  No macaroni in the house? Any pasta shape will work, including spaghetti. Whether there’s macaroni in it or not, my whole family loves this dish. Not everyone with fructose malabsorption tolerates cauliflower, but if you can, this healthy macaroni and cheese is sure to please. Avoid this if you’re sensitive to polyols.

You can safely eat this if you’re lactose intolerant. Cheddar and aged Parmesan are a low-lactose cheeses that contain 0 grams of carbohydrate according to the nutrition facts on the packages. According to “Food Intolerance Management Plan”, by Sue Shepherd, most people with lactose intolerance can handle about 4 grams of lactose per serving of food without experiencing problems (page 29). As always, only eat what your body can tolerate, and only you know what that is.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Serves 4, adapted from “The Food Matters Cookbook”

2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
2 bay leaves
1 pound frozen cauliflower florets
12 ounces gluten-free pasta, any shape (Tinkyada rice pasta is great)
3 ounces grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta.. Cook the pasta a couple of minutes less than the package directions call for. For best results, don’t let the pasta get mushy.

Thaw the cauliflower in hot water, then drain it and put it into a medium sauce pan.  Add the chicken broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Put half of the cauliflower and broth into a blender, along with the Parmesan cheese, olive oil, Dijon and nutmeg. Puree the sauce and pour it into an empty pan. Blend the rest of the cauliflower and broth, then add it into the pan with the rest of the sauce. Stir the sauce until it’s thoroughly mixed, then season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss with the cooked pasta.

31 thoughts on “Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

  1. I’ve done something similar with butternut squash puree and carrot puree. I’ll have to try cauliflower! It looks delicious!

    • I feel the same way about Mac and Cheese.It’s one of those combos that’s irresistible.

  2. That is a really neat idea. Home made Mac and Cheese is awesome, and I normaly try to stay away from the loads of butter and cream in mine, but this is a great way to make it even healthier! I will have to try it!

  3. your recipes look amazing! This one intrigues me especially. Thanks for stopping by foodforfun’s diy cheese crackers.

  4. I keep reading that cauliflower makes a great sauce with pasta once it’s pureed, but I haven’t tried it yet! Cauliflower will be in season/on sale in my local grocery store soon, so once that happens I’ll definitely be trying it out. This version looks really good!

    • Cauliflower is an amazing vegetable- it also makes a great soup when you saute it with red pepper flakes & garlic infused olive oil, then blend it a good chicken stock.

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