This roasted cauliflower mac and cheese is a healthier alternative to one of our favourite comfort foods. You’ll love this gluten-free meal packed with flavourful vegetables!
How was your weekend? We had a busy one celebrating my husband’s birthday, a baptism and, of course, Superbowl. Needless to say, we had our fair share of eating!
As mentioned earlier, we’re working on making better food choices this year. But, every once in a while, we have cravings for good old comfort food, like mac and cheese (especially when we get a dump of snow and it turns cold like on Saturday). I thought, why not make this decadent dish a little healthier by using brown rice pasta and adding a good portion of roasted cauliflower. Wowza.
This roasted cauliflower mac and cheese is so much better than any other version I’ve ever made before!
Honestly, our favourite part of this dish is the cauliflower. We love the caramelized bits of heaven topped with cheese. You can’t beat that, right?!
And, the whole thing tastes even better as leftovers when the flavours really come together.
I think it’s safe to say your kids will eat it too (although our son ate any vegetable under the sun growing up, so I’m a bit naive at times). You may want to try it without the garlic to start with. I’d love to know how it goes over with your family, so drop a comment below.
Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
A healthier alternative to one of our favourite comfort foods. Packed with flavourful vegetables and gluten-free!
- 1 medium head of cauliflower about 5 cups broken into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 250 grams uncooked brown rice macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
- 1 cup milk whole or partly skimmed
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3-4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place washed and dried cauliflower on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes (turning halfway through) until cauliflower is tender and pieces start turning brown and carmelizing.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, prepare the pasta according to the directions (we like ours on the “al dente” side). Drain, reserving a bit of the liquid, and transfer the pasta and liquid to a bowl. Set aside.
In the same pot, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter, plus the onions. Cook until onions are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and remaining butter. Whisk in the brown rice flour and cook for a minute. Slowly add the milk and mustard, whisking continuously. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer until it starts to thicken a bit (about 2 minutes), stirring often.
Add half the cheddar and stir until it comes together. Turn off heat and carefully mix in the pasta and cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper to taste (remember the cheese will add salt, so go easy).
Transfer to a skillet or casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375°F and broil at the end to brown the cheese to your liking.
Top with basil and serve.
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Have a delicious day!
heather meads says
Oh wow – that looks good Shauna!! Thanks for the recipe.
Sheila Zeller says
This looks amazing #dying to try! I love Mac & Cheese, and we are also trying to make healthier choices. Off to pin!! Thanks for sharing, Shauna :-)
Shauna Oberg says
Little tweaks is all it takes, right? Thanks doll!
Andrea @ personallyandrea says
I used to “hide” cauliflower in the KD when the kids were little, but what a great idea to raost it! Love! I’ll have to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Shauna Oberg says
I’ve done the steamed and mashed cauliflower thing before but never roasted. It’s SO much better!
Simply called food says
Great idea to add cauliflower to a mac and cheese, sounds really yummy!
I keep liking ..pinning..your mac and cheese version! Its so good! Will surely give atry :) i always make roasted cauliflower recipes
I love roasted veggies including cauliflower so I will definitely be trying this!
Anna (Hidden Ponies) says
I love roasted cauliflower AND mac n cheese, so this is calling my name – pinned and added to the meal plan!
Brittany at I Love Vegan says
Wow, this sounds GOOD! I love the idea of including cauliflower in addition to a healthy pasta choice. I’ll have to try something similar sometime. Thanks!!
Melanie @ Bon Appet'Eat says
Totally the comfort dish i need with my nasty cold :(
That looks easy and delicious. I love getting vegetables into mac n cheese. Great recipe!
Diane | An Extraordinary Day says
What a great idea! We’ve been making mac ‘n cheese with “kamut” spirals. I love the earthy taste and texture of the ancient grain and it’s high in nutrition, too. The addition of cauliflower is something I’ve got to try. Yum!
This doesn’t say when to add the cauliflower – I assume right when you mix in the pasta as well? Just want to double check!
Shauna Oberg says
Oops, missed that! Yes, add it at the same time as the pasta.
Thanks, I’m really excited to try this!
Wonderful cook says
Made this last weekend and it was a huge success! Delicious recipe, thank you!
Shauna Oberg says
So glad you enjoyed it!