I’m all into pairing vegetables with traditional recipes. This roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a great example of doing just that. Cauliflower isn’t the most palatable vegetable when eaten on its own but it is chock full of healthy nutrients so well worth thinking of ways to incorporate it into dishes.
This recipe is so easy and can be ready in 45 minutes, it serves 4-6 portions easily. It is a perfect comfort food when the weather is freezing and really filling for the children who seem to hoover food up! If you are limiting carbs or calories, just eat a smaller portion, the addition of the mixed seeds adds protein and a heap of nutrients, just add more! We use the small pots in the photo above and serve with salad or extra side vegetables.
Why roast the cauliflower?
Roasting the cauliflower gives it a lovely crispy, nutty texture which pairs well with softness of the macaroni and cheese sauce.
which cheeses can be used in this dish?
I’ve used Cheddar and Parmesan this time, Gruyere is another good choice but you can use a combination of any hard cheeses. Mozzarella will, of course, give you that stringy cheese thing!
how to make the cheese roux sauce step by step
First melt the cubed butter gently on a medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until well blended. Add the milk gradually, stirring after each addition. Keep stirring!
Once the milk has all been added and combined, use a whisk to create a lovely smooth sauce without lumps! Take the pan off the heat and add the Cheddar and two-thirds of the Parmesan plus the Wholegrain mustard. Stir in well until fully combined and the cheeses have melted through.
how to finish making the roasted cauliflower mac and cheese
Add the sauce to the cooked macaroni pasta and again stir well until fully coated. Transfer the macaroni into an ovenproof dish and press the roasted cauliflower florets into the pasta.
Combine the mixed seeds with the remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle generously over the macaroni and cheese sauce. Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and golden and the cheese sauce is bubbling nicely underneath.
See the recipe card below for the fully enhanced recipe steps.
More recipes with Cauliflower:
More Pasta recipes:
- Stuffed Pasta Shells with Butternut Squash Sauce
- Vegetarian One Pan Pasta
- Oxford Blue Cheese and Broccoli Pasta Sauce
- 1 medium-sized Cauliflower, trimmed stalks and cut into small florets
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Sea salt to season
- 400 grams/14 ounces Macaroni Pasta
- 100 grams/3 ounces butter, cubed
- 70 grams/½ cup plain flour/all purpose flour
- 650 ml/2½ cups semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 80 grams/⅔ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- 60 grams/½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 4-6 Tablespoons mixed seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.
- Coat the base of a roasting tin with olive oil
- Place the Cauliflower florets into the roasting tray and move around until well coated. Season with sea salt.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender and slightly browned.
- Add the macaroni pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook for around 10 minutes until soft. Cook to your preference, we like ours soft.
- Meanwhile make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat.
- Add the flour and stir constantly until the butter and flour are well combined.
- Allow it to bubble for a minute whilst stirring, this will eliminate any floury taste.
- Gradually add the semi-skimmed milk, constantly stirring until all the milk is used and combined fully.
- Use a whisk to beat the sauce to create a lovely smooth sauce without any lumps.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the grated Cheddar cheese, around ⅔ of the grated Parmesan cheese and the wholegrain mustard. Stir well until fully combined and the cheeses have melted through.
- Add the cheese sauce to the cooked macaroni pasta and stir until fully coated.
- Transfer the prepared macaroni pasta to an ovenproof dish, spread out evenly then press the roasted cauliflower florets into the pasta.
- Combine the mixed seeds with the remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle generously over the macaroni pasta and cheese sauce. Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and golden and the cheese sauce is bubbling nicely underneath.
- Serves 4 large portions or 6 smaller portions.
- use the mustard of your choice, we subsitute Dijon mustard for Wholegrain sometimes too.
- instead of mixed seed topping, replace with panko breadcrumbs.
- you can either swap out the cauliflower for broccoli or as we do use both.
Nutritional Info Links: