Cauliflower Mac Cheese

2 years ago

With this recipe the pureed cauliflower creates a very creamy sauce. Partially roasting the cauliflower adds depth of flavor. Add some cheese, al dente pasta and a bread crumb crust and you have the ultimate comfort food. This is my version of the recipe. This is also a great `make ahead` dish. More so, if you have children, they will not know there is cauliflower in this.


1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking pan
Salt and white pepper
2 cups béchamel sauce , (see recipe below)
1 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup bread crumbs ( I used Panko )
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
2 tablespoons parsley, fresh flat-leaf, chopped

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut cauliflower across the head into 1/4-inch slices, like youd slice a mushroom. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes ( remove from oven but leave the oven on).

Set aside 12 cauliflower pieces, you will use these later (I saved the smallest pieces, not counting.). Transfer remaining cauliflower to a blender, add béchamel (recipe for bechamel below) and puree. Set aside.

In a large pot of boiling, well-salted water, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Stir in béchamel mixture, paprika, reserved cauliflower and Cheddar cheese.

Transfer to an oiled 8-by-8-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, butter, and parsley. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Additional note, taste the mixture before adding the topping. Does it need salt or pepper?

Yield: 4 to 6 servings {According to the website, this is the yield. The only way this is accurate is if it`s the main dish.}

To make béchamel sauce:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is pale brown, about 2 minutes.

Add 2 1/4 cups milk and bring to a simmer, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 or 3 minutes. Makes about 2 cups. (If not using immediately, cover with plastic wrap directly on surface of sauce, to prevent a skin from forming.)

How I came across this gem:
I had some cauliflower that needed to be used and wasn`t sure how to make the flavors work with the roast rack of pork I was making. I also wanted to make macaroni and cheese. Maybe it was serendipitous because I googled `pork and cauliflower` and it brought me to the Pork Be Inspired website. On that is this recipe of `Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese`. Unfortunately, part of the instructions seem to be missing. I`ve made Cauliflower soup a couple of times and I`ve made Mac and Cheese countless times, so I used my knowledge and made it work. This is my photo, which I will likely add to the PorkBeInspired website as well. luuuxweeklyfoodcomp cheese cauliflower vegetarian macaroni

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