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!
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?
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.
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
CLICK TO PLAY RECIPE VIDEO
- 16 oz macaroni
- 1 head cauliflower (see notes)
- ½ 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
- 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 ½ cup half and half.
- 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.