Best Cauli Mac and Cheese

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese - All that's Jas

Best homemade mac and cheese loaded with cauliflower will trick the pickiest eaters into eating their veggies.

 

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese - All that's Jas

 

Today I’m teaching you a little trick. My granddaughters come over for dinner every other week. Their only request? Mac and cheese. I think I need to buy some stock in pasta, but I digress.

 

Mac and cheese is simple to make from scratch (no need for boxed versions that are full of additives), and is very forgiving in that you can’t really mess it up, even when experimenting with it.

 

In this version, I added cauliflower. The flavor is mild and it wouldn’t set off my granddaughters’ “veggie radar” because it blends right in (as does its color). It also adds a mild sweetness to the dish.

 

Tip: Never reveal your secret!

 

It turns out there are plenty of picky eaters among adults as well, but trust me, you can trick them too with this yummy dish. I’m a real magician when it comes to hiding veggies. I’ve snuck a whole cabbage head into this sneaky casserole and no one ever knew. The veggies are not really hidden in these southwestern egg rolls, but they are so fun to eat.

 

I’m always looking for ways to make comfort foods a bit healthier.

 

Have you snuck veggies into your dishes? How do you make your recipes wholesome? Tell me in the comments!

 

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese Recipe

#Best #mac and #cheese with #cauliflower will trick the pickiest eaters into #eating their #veggies. Click To Tweet

 

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese - All that's Jas

 

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

  • 8 ounces uncooked macaroni (I used whole grain Rotini)
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. In a pot of salted water cook cauliflower and macaroni al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Add cooked macaroni and cauliflower. Stir in sour cream, milk, cheese, and mustard. Season the macaroni with salt and pepper. Stir well until cheese is melted. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  3. In a small bowl mix bread crumbs, parsley, and one tablespoon olive oil. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

 

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese - All that's Jas

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese - All that's Jas

Best Cauli Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Best homemade mac and cheese loaded with cauliflower will trick the pickiest eaters into eating their veggies.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Jas
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces uncooked macaroni I used whole grain Rotini
  • 1 small head cauliflower chopped
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese I used Mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a pot of salted water cook cauliflower and macaroni al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Add cooked macaroni and cauliflower. Stir in sour cream, milk, cheese, and mustard. Season the macaroni with salt and pepper. Stir well until cheese is melted. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  3. In a small bowl mix bread crumbs, parsley, and one tablespoon olive oil. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Featured on: Jay Tried and True, Pieced Pastimes, and The Cottage Market.

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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73 Comment

  1. Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    January 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    You are a very sneaky grandma,,,hiding veggies in the mac and cheese… Love the little crunchy topping too. Wishing you a super 2017!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 8, 2017 at 8:58 am

      He, he….what can I say? 😉 Thanks, Bobbi, and all the best in 2017 to you and your family!

  2. Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    January 9, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Sometimes we cooks have to be a little sneaky to get our families to eat a healthier. Like you idea of adding the cauliflower, I know I would enjoy your dish very much.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you so much, Karen! The healthier you want it to be, the harder it gets. But, one dish at a time and we’ll get there, right?

  3. Reply
    Carol, The Red Painted Cottage
    January 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    What a great way to get kids to eat their veggies, as well as some adults! Love it!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Hi, Carol. Thank you, we need to be tricked sometimes too, don’t we? 😉

  4. Reply
    Rachel
    January 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    I’m a huge fan of cauliflower, and I love mac n cheese. Will definitely make this recipe!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      Me too! Love it in any shape or form, lol. Let me know how it turns out for you :)

  5. Reply
    Michelle
    January 9, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Sounds delicious!
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Michelle

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 9, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Hi, Michelle. Thank you and thanks for stopping in!

  6. Reply
    Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
    January 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I like the idea of combining the cauliflower with pasta rather than replacing it. Sounds good!! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 11, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Hi, Helen. Baby steps… 😀

  7. Reply
    Amy
    January 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I love Cauliflower and this looks like a fantastic way to use it in a dish that is a little different. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing at Sugar and Spice Link Party.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      In that case, you will love this dish, Amy! Thanks for stopping in. Hope your weekend is full of blessings!

  8. Reply
    Leanna
    January 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    This is a wonderful simple idea. It would lower the carb and calorie count per serving as well as adding vitamins.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 14, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Most definitely, Leanna! Thank you for stopping in, hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  9. Reply
    Rose
    January 14, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I loooove cauliflower. I can’t wait to try this recipe out. I may have to make it for my niece and nephew as well

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Me too, Rose! I put it in everything, lol! Bet your niece and nephew won’t notice 😉

  10. Reply
    Pili
    January 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I usually disguise cauliflower in the meals too, it’s not a popular veggie around here. Thanks for another opportunity to make more healthy meals, pinning!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 18, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Lol, you can’t even taste it in this dish. You can chop it really small so to hide it better! 😉

  11. Reply
    Donella
    January 20, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Added this to my Yummly recipe box. I’m always looking for ways to sneak in veggies with the kiddo’s favorite meals and sides.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 20, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Sneaky, sneaky, lol! Thanks for stopping in Donella. Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

  12. […] To stretch the wings and make a meal serve them with crispy roasted sweet potatoes, or yummy cauli mac and cheese. […]

  13. Reply
    Easy Cauliflower Frittata - All that's Jas
    February 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

    […] Remember the whole cabbage head I hid from my husband? That was my favorite! And that other way I hid cauliflower from my granddaughter? I love this hide and seek game. What hiding place are you most proud of? […]

  14. […] finely chopped vegetables to stews, lasagna, or even pasta meat sauce. I have hidden cauliflower in mac & cheese and on pork chops covered with cheese before. My picky granddaughters never knew what hit […]

  15. Reply
    Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
    December 31, 2017 at 7:32 am

    That does sound like the best cauliflower mac and cheese! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 2, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Thank you, Helen! It’s very well hidden and yummy. 😉

  16. Reply
    Mother of 3
    December 31, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    This sounds yummy! I have snuck cauliflower into our Alfredo sauce, zucchini in a chocolate cake, and pureed carrots into tomato sauce. I have one boy that is quite picky when it comes to anything with vegetables. Pinning this.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 2, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Pureed carrots in tomato sauce is a brilliant idea! I might even try it for myself as I’m not a carrot fan (unless it’s in a cake, lol). Thanks for sharing and happy 2018!

  17. Reply
    Lisa
    January 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I too make a lot of mac & cheese because my kids’ love it. But I am always concerned about it not being the healthiest of entrees. I have pinned this and will definitely give it a try.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you, Lisa! It’s hard pleasing the picky eaters as they generally dislike healthy foods. 🙂

  18. Reply
    Jann Olson
    January 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I’ve never thought to add cauliflower to mac n cheese, but I bet it’s yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 4, 2018 at 8:57 am

      It really is yummy, Jann! Thanks for stopping in!

  19. Reply
    Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
    January 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I am SOOOOO with you on hiding the veggies! For the longest time, I got away with sneaking zoodles in with the spaghetti—and then my picky eater got wise to my trick. Luckily, he hasn’t figured out the cauliflower trick yet! This is a great way to lighten up one of my favorite naughty comfort foods—I mean, who doesn’t like mac and cheese! I would love it like this anyway: no subterfuge needed. But the picky one is another matter…I can’t wait to try this out on him!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 4, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      LOL, they get smart rather quickly, don’t they? Good luck hiding veggies, Michelle and thanks for stopping in!. 😀

  20. Reply
    Angie | Fiesta Friday
    January 5, 2018 at 8:44 am

    What, you have granddaughters?!?! How did you do that, had children when you were 12?! LOL Anyway, love the idea! Besides, technically cauliflower is not a veggie, it’s not green 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      LOL, Angie, you’re too sweet. I turned 52 in December, but thank you! 😀
      So, what is cauliflower then if not a veggie? I can’t keep up with the trends, ha! 😉

  21. Reply
    TurksWhoEat
    January 5, 2018 at 9:43 am

    What an excellent idea! I think I’ll definitely have to try this.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      I hope you do and I hope you like it 🙂 Let me know! Thanks for visiting.

  22. Reply
    Abbey
    January 5, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Sounds delicious!! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks, Abbey! Hope you like it!

  23. Reply
    Snap
    January 5, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Yum! I love the edition of mustard. Great way to get more veggies and make macaroni and cheese better for me.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Definitely better! 😉 Thanks for stopping in.

  24. Reply
    Natalie A
    January 5, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    This recipe looks like a winner! All of the ingredients make this recipe look so yummy! I like that you added cauliflower to a mac & cheese recipe!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      Hi, Natalie! It fooled my granddaughters, lol.

  25. Reply
    Leslie
    January 5, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Yes! I’ve been sneaking veggies into my kids Mac and cheese for years. Though mine complain if it isn’t bright orange and has bits of veggies. So frustrating. But cauliflower is definitely one of my go-to veggies to use. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      So funny that we all do it now. When I was growing up it was: eat it or go hungry. LOL

  26. Reply
    frugal hausfrau
    January 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Jas, you are making me hungry! This looks scrumptious!! Thanks for sharing this at Fiesta Friday!

    Mollie

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      Haha, sorry Mollie! Thank you bunches. 😀

  27. Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats
    January 6, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    I love cauliflower and mac and cheese so this basically blows my mind hehehehe. Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy Link Party! PINNED!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 6, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      I’m happy you like it, Kelly! Thanks a bunch 😀

  28. Reply
    Kat (The Baking Explorer)
    January 6, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    This sounds absolutely delicious, I love cauliflower cheese and this makes it possible for me to have it as a whole meal!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 6, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you, Kat! It could definitely be a whole meal. 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!

  29. Reply
    Shirley Wood
    January 6, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    So glad you share your creativity with us at Merry Monday. Can’t wait to see what’s new from you next week!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 6, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you bunches, Shirley!

  30. Reply
    Miz Helen
    January 7, 2018 at 10:10 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe it looks very comforting to me. Happy to see you here at Full Plate Thursday and thanks so much for sharing with us.
    Miz Helen

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 7, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      You got it right, Miz Helen. It is very comforting 🙂

  31. Reply
    Lynda Hardy
    January 7, 2018 at 10:54 am

    What delicious winter comfort food! I love the addition of cauliflower!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 7, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks so much, Lynda! 🙂

  32. Reply
    Susan
    January 7, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Thank you what a great recipe!. I really like the layout of your photos on this recipe. A different perspective that makes the image pop. Pinned

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 7, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you, Susan! I’m so happy you like it and I appreciate your kind feedback. 😀

  33. Reply
    Emmi @ Emmi's Cookin' Side
    January 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I love to hide veggies in meals 😉 And this one is definitely to try! I think Junior would love this one!
    -Emmi

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 7, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Hi, Emmi! My grands loved it so I hope your Junior will too 😀

  34. Reply
    Petra
    January 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I love mac & cheese and I love to add cauliflower!
    Perfect for sharing, thanks for bringing it to Fiesta Friday!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 8, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Great minds think alike… 😉

  35. Reply
    Sheri
    January 8, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Yum! Thanks for joining us at the To Grandma’s House We Go link party!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you, Sheri!

  36. Reply
    Christina Makri
    January 9, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I like so much mac cheese recipes but I have never seen one with cauliflower! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 9, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Hi, Christina! I hope you’ll give this one a try. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  37. Reply
    Carrie @ Carrie's Home Cooking
    January 9, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    This sound wonderful! Thank you for sharing on Whisk It Wednesday Link Party at Carrie’s Home Cooking! I can’t wait to see what you post tomorrow! Cheers~Carrie

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 9, 2018 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you, Carrie! Hope you’ll also like what I’ll share tomorrow 🙂

  38. Reply
    Kristin
    January 12, 2018 at 7:57 am

    I love that this recipe takes a comfort food and adds a healthy ingredient! Pinning for later. I am visiting from Friday at the Fire Station link-up.
    I followed you on Pinterest and Facebook and would love for you to follow me!
    Pinterest… https://www.pinterest.com/mintsandacherry/boards/
    Facebook… https://www.facebook.com/mintsandacherry/

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 13, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you much, Kristin! Followed back 🙂

Your visits and your comments are greatly appreciated. I LOVE reading them, they motivate me to keep going and keep improving. If you have a question, please feel free to leave it here, email me, or message me on Facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by at All that's Jas, so let's talk :)