Creamy, cheesy, and delicious, this cauliflower mac and cheese is everything it should be!
Tender elbow macaroni and cauliflower florets are tossed in a cheesy sauce, topped with more cheese and baked until bubbly. Serve this as a meatless main dish or a side dish!
Why We Love This Dish
It’s extra saucy and super cheesy.
Adding cauliflower adds great texture to a traditional mac and cheese recipe along with extra and nutrients!
It’s a great way to incorporate leftovers into a meal! Leftover baked cauliflower can be used along with leftover meats like roast chicken for a complete meal.
This dish can be served as a main dish or a side dish.
Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower
As in any recipe, fresh is best, but frozen cauliflower can be used. If it’s frozen, be sure to defrost and drain the cauliflower before using in this recipe.
Frozen cauliflower is already fairly soft and should only be added to the cooking water during the last couple of minutes so it doesn’t overcook.
How To Make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to make this tasty favorite!
- Cook macaroni and the cauliflower in salted boiling water just until tender.
- While the macaroni is boiling, make the cheese sauce.
- Toss it all together and place in a casserole dish, top with more cheese and bake!
Cheese or Breadcrumbs on Top
While I top this casserole with extra cheese you can add a breadcrumb topping if you’d like. Combine the following and sprinkle over the casserole before baking:
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or Panko)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, salt & pepper to taste
Additions & Variations
This is a great recipe for add-ins! Here is a list of great add-ins, but feel free to get creative! Add about 1 cup or so of any of the following combinations:
- Ham & Broccoli: Leftover diced ham and steamed broccoli are great additions.
- Bacon & Tomato: Cherry or grape tomatoes, crisp bacon (or bacon bits) and a handful of fresh chopped spinach.
- Pizza Inspired: Crumbled Italian sausage, pepperoni, sauteed green peppers, onions and black olives with a dash of oregano.
- Veggie Lovers: Sauteed onions, bell peppers, zucchini & mushrooms.
How To Reheat Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
This casserole doesn’t freeze well but it will last in the fridge for about 5 days. The best way to reheat cauliflower mac and cheese is to give it a good stir and zap it in the microwave for a few minutes. Add a little milk if the sauce is too thick after reheating.
More Mac & Cheesy Goodness
- Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole – personal favorite
- Velveeta Mac and Cheese – comfort food classic
- Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese – in about 15 minutes
- Baked Mac and Cheese – reader favorite
- Pesto Mac and Cheese – easy to make
- Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese – extra creamy
- 3 Cheese Cavatappi – so cheesy!
- Quick Broccoli Pasta – a vegetarian fave
Did you enjoy this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups cauliflower cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup light cream about 10-12% MF
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 cups sharp cheddar divided
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cook cauliflower and macaroni in salted water 5-7 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Drain very well.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and seasonings and cook 1 minute.
- Whisk in cream and milk a little bit at a time whisking until smooth after each addition. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat while stirring.
- Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese & 3 cups cheddar cheese until melted. Toss with cauliflower and macaroni and spread into a greased 9×13 pan.
- Top with remaining cheddar cheese and 20-22 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over cook.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)