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Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese strikes the perfect balance between what you want to eat and what you should eat. Cauliflower replaces half of the pasta in this classic comfort dish, offering lower carbs without sacrificing any flavor.

Course Dinner, Entree
Cuisine American
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 248 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 small-medium head cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • 2 cups dried macaroni
  • 8 oz shredded Mexican blend cheese (or a combination of shredded jack and mild cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh scallions, chopped
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F

  2. Bring a large (5-6 qt) pot of water to a boil, and add about 1 tsp kosher salt. Add the cauliflower, and boil until just cooked through, but not too soft, about 5-7. minutes. Remove cauliflower with a slotted spoon or spider, and set aside. 

  3. With the water still boiling, add the macaroni to the same pot of water, and cook according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot. 

  4. While the cauliflower and pasta are cooking, start making the sauce. In a smaller (3-4 qt pot), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour, and stir, cooking for about 1 minute until it just begins to turn golden. Slowly whisk in milk, making sure to whisk out any lumps. Reduce heat to medium-low, and whisk frequently until thickened, about 7-10 minutes. 

  5. Over low heat, add cheese to the sauce, one handful at a time, and whisk thoroughly before adding more. Add nutmeg and garlic, turn off heat, and stir to thoroughly combine. Add salt to taste. 

  6. Add the cauliflower to the pot with the pasta. Add the cheese sauce, and fold in to combine. 

  7. Pour mixture into a greased 12 inch cast iron skillet or similar sized baking dish. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, parsley, and scallions. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the cauliflower macaroni dish. Spray the top lightly with cooking spray. 

  8. Cover in foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes to brown slightly on top. 

  9. Serve in a bowl or on a plate. Pairs well with a light side salad. 

Recipe Notes

Approximate calories per serving are 248, with 34.4g total carbs, 3.4 g fiber, and 6.8g sugar per serving.