Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese (with Dairy and Non-Dairy Options) Recipe

Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese (with Dairy and Non-Dairy Options)

Serves 4

Enjoy the comfort of creamy mac 'n cheese with the added benefits of delicious caulifllower.


  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut into small florets and divided into two bowls
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, unsweetened non-dairy milk, or vegetable stock
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese or your favorite non-dairy cheese (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • Hazelnut Topping:
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Place garlic on one corner of foil-lined sheet. Spread half the cauliflower and all the celery on baking sheet, spacing them apart in an even layer. Brush with 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Fold corner of foil over garlic to shield from direct heat and prevent browning during roasting.
  3. Roast 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Place roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor and allow to cool while continuing with the next step.
  4. Place remaining half of cauliflower on warm sheet pan. Brush with 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Return to oven and roast 25 to 30 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and begin boiling water for macaroni.
  5. While roasting second half of cauliflower, carefully add half-and-half to cooled vegetables in blender or food processor. Cover and process until creamy and very smooth. Pour into oiled 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Stir in cheddar and parmesan cheeses. (See Cook's Tip)
  6. Cook pasta as package directs, reducing cooking time by half. Use a large, slotted spoon or spider to transfer pasta directly into casserole dish with sauce. Add roasted cauliflower and toss everything to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Combine topping ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through and topping is golden brown. Serve warm.
  8. Cook's Tip:
  9. If making a dairy-free version, boost flavor of sauce with addition of 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast or white miso paste.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 950
Fat: 63 g
Saturated Fat: 24 g
Cholesterol: 100 mg
Sodium: 1060 mg
Carbohydrates: 67 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 10 g
Protein: 32 g
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