Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese

If you’re like me, this is your mantra today:
I HATE IT WHEN
I have been eating the best holiday food ever! But now it’s time to get real. However, I don’t want to.

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese
My solution to the stubbornness I’m so proud of, is a slightly healthier version of Mac ‘n’ Cheese! I’ve cut the pasta almost in half and replaced it with roasted cauliflower. Even better, this is a great way to disguise veggies for the kids.

I used cheddar mixed with herbed Boursin cheese to make it extra creamy. If you can’t find that specific Boursin, other flavors with do. As well as replacing it with cream cheese (just add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning if you are using plain cream cheese!)

Let the dieting begin! Well, kind of. Not really yet.

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

Calories per serving: 465

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

Boursin with herbs adds flavor, but you can swap it for fat-free cream cheese if you like.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (12 oz) cauliflower florets
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ lb cavatappi or other curly pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2½ cups (7 oz) grated cheddar
  • ½ cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup (4 oz) Boursin Light Garlic and Herbs Spreadable cheese
  • ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Spread cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and coat lightly with cooking spray. Roast until florets begin to brown, about 10 min. Remove cauliflower and reduce oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat whisk olive oil and flour for 1 min. Add milk, whisking constantly. Stir in mustard, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture has thickened, about 8 min. Remove sauce from heat. Add 2 cups cheddar, Parmesan and Boursin and stir until melted. Add pasta and cauliflower; stir to coat.
  3. Pour pasta into a greased 2-qt baking dish. Sprinkle on ½ cup cheddar, then bread crumbs. Bake until bread crumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbling, about 30 min.
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Recipe by Tara Bench
Photographer: Lisa Hubbard
Food Stylist: Susan Vajaranant
Prop Stylist: Penelope Bouklas
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal November 2012

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