This version is just as satisfying as a regular mac & cheese with the added boost of cauliflower and a savoury crunch that will keep you coming back for more. You will wonder why you ever made macaroni & cheese without cauliflower! We love the seedy goodness from Hippie Snacks Seed & Nut Clusters!
Cauliflower, as part of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with its green cousins Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale & broccoli), is naturally high in fibre and B-vitamins. Don’t be fooled by its white colour – cauliflower is a powerhouse of antioxidants & phytonutrients that have been shown to protect against cancer. It also contains fibre to support digestion and choline that is essential for learning and memory. So move over macaroni & make room for cauliflower!
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese & Crispy Topping
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups strong grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 onion finely minced
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups elbow whole wheat macaroni cooked gluten-free works fine
- 3 cups cauliflower chopped into small florets
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cook macaroni according to the package directions, add cauliflower for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain.
- While pasta is cooking, combine milk and flour in a medium saucepan, whisk until smooth.
- Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and thickened. Stir in the onion, all spices (dry mustard, salt, paprika, pepper) and all cheese.
- Cook while stirring until cheeses are completely melted.
- Combine cheese sauce with cooked macaroni and cauliflower. Transfer to a large casserole dish that has been lightly sprayed with oil.
- For Topping:
- Mix bread crumbs, oregano, chili flakes, parmesan cheese & Hippie Snacks Crispy Onion Seed & Nut Clusters. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture.
- Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serve with a green salad.
You can adjust the ratio of pasta to cauliflower or choose one over the other. It’s up to you. We find 50/50 the most comforting!
Co-founder of Healthy Family Media and the Healthy Family Expo, Kay is an adventurer & Ironman triathlete, as well as mum to an active 11-year-old. Originally from Montreal, she has been proud to call British Columbia home for over 15 years. Whether running, hiking & biking in the mountains or creating healthy meals in the kitchen, Kay is always up for something new. Her contagious enthusiasm & zest for life mean we’re never quite sure what she’ll be up to next, but we’re sure that it will be an amazing adventure!