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Hidden Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a great way to sneak in a healthy vegetable and mask it with delicious creamy mac ‘n’ cheesy comfort food.

This is a recipe for homemade mac and cheese with pureed cauliflower hidden inside. Your family may or may not notice, but it’s always fun to try and sneak in extra veggies!

cauliflower Mac and Cheese
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Hidden Cauliflower Mac and Cheese might just surprise you. Cauliflower… I’m not a huge fan.

I have friends go on and on about how much they love cauliflower and how many different ways they eat it – roasted, cut into thick “steaks”, made into “rice” which is just raw cauliflower cut to look like rice.

You can’t fool me.  The only way I eat cauliflower is if its covered in cheese or a wonderful dip. I will admit, however, that I do devour buffalo cauliflower bites.

How does one hide cauliflower in mac and cheese?

Good question.

I got a head of cauliflower and decided to steam it, puree it with half and half, and sneak it into some mac n cheese.

Pureed cauliflower added to mac and cheese

How to make cauliflower mac and cheese:

The only difference between my hidden cauliflower mac and cheese and regular mac and cheese is that I mixed in that smooth cauliflower puree.

You will still cook the pasta and then mix it into the cheese sauce. For my original version of this recipe, I used a combination of sharp cheddar and jalapeno jack because its what I happened to have in my frig, but any cheeses that melt nicely will do.  Go ahead.  Be creative.

I popped the pasta into the broiler for a few minutes to slightly brown the top because there are fewer things in this life better than crispy browned cheese straight from the oven (bacon, for example, is one of those fewer things).  But there is a huge part of me that enjoyed the pasta more before I put it in the oven because it was just so creamy and yum.

Only you can decide what works best for you.  Be sure to let me know if you pulled one over on your family and you got any non-lovers-of-cauliflower to eat it.

Watch the recipe video below!

Hidden Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Prep5 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Hidden Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a great way to sneak in a healthy vegetable and mask it with delicious creamy mac ‘n’ cheesy comfort food. This is a recipe for homemade mac and cheese with pureed cauliflower hidden inside. Your family may or may not notice, but it’s always fun to try and sneak in extra veggies!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 16 oz macaroni
  • 1 head cauliflower see notes
  • 1/2 cup half and half divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces cheese grated (roughly 3 cups, use sharp cheddar, pepper jack, gouda, fontina, gruyere, or a combination)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In boiling salted water, cook macaroni. Cook just slightly al dente. Drain, do not rinse, and set aside.
  • Separate cauliflower florets from stalk and steam until soft and tender. Puree in blender with 1/2 cup half and half.
    Hidden Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese | Self Proclaimed Foodie
  • Combine butter and flour in pot over medium heat and whisk to form a roux. Add milk and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add shredded cheese, cauliflower puree, garlic powder, mustard powder, and salt in large pot. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Add in drained pasta and stir until well combined. Serve with fresh ground pepper.
  • If preferred, put in oven safe dish and broil on high 5 minutes to slightly brown the top, giving a toasted nutty flavor.

Notes

You can also use cauliflower rice instead of a head of cauliflower. You will need about 4 cups, or 32 ounces, of cauliflower rice to equal one head of cauliflower

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 619mg, Potassium: 312mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 665IU, Vitamin C: 6.6mg, Calcium: 406mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

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28 Comments

  1. Excellent recipe! My
    Husband is not a fan of cauliflower and he loved it! He’s been raving about it to everyone. I used a yellow cauliflower for cheesy color, Gruyère and Extra Sharp Cheddar for the cheese choices, topped with Panko and drizzled with truffle oil after removing from the oven. This is now my official Mac & cheese recipe. Over time I plan to experiment with eliminating the half and half to make it healthier. Happy I decided to try it. Thank you!

  2. 4 stars
    Instead of half and half and flour, I used an immersion blender to blend cottage cheese with the cauliflower and a little of the veggie water, and used plain, unsweetened almond milk instead of dairy milk because that is what I had on hand. I also put in the oven afterwards with a little panko on top for 15 minutes. It was fantastic- highly recommend!

  3. 5 stars
    I make a similar recipe all the time, it’s the only mac’n’cheese we eat. Going to try it with a few tweaks off your recipe tonight!

    Having people over so steam in bag cut cauliflower florets to start cuts down prep time 🙂

    I second the paprika and cayenne addition. I also add panko (or crushed goldfish!) and more cheese to the top before broiling

    I always make a double batch and freeze half with the similar recipe, never any problems. Just dont put the extra cheese or panko/crackers on before you freeze. Let it thaw, 350 for about 30-45 with foil on until heated through then remove foil, top and broil on low for a few mins to get golden brown and bubbly!