In case you missed it, Monday was National Mac and Cheese Day. I could eat mac and cheese any day, whether it’s a box of Annie’s or homemade cheesy deliciousness. Today I’m sharing a new, healthier spin on mac and cheese that substitutes some of the noodles for cauliflower. I swear you won’t even notice the difference and I found it to be much more filling than traditional mac and cheese. It’s based off of a recipe I found on Damn Delicious and there are lots of ways you can tweak it to make it your own (see the bottom of the post for some ideas!).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup Panko
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 cup elbows pasta
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup 2% milk, or more, to taste
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Panko and cook, stirring, until browned and toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley; set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Within the last 3 minutes of cooking time, add cauliflower; drain well.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in pasta, cauliflower, sour cream, milk and cheeses, a handful at a time, until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- Spread pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 12-15 minutes.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with Panko, if desired.
- Add Frank’s hot sauce before serving (my favorite!).
- Take a tip from Michelle Obama’s cauliflower mac and cheese recipe and puree the cauliflower to make it blend better with the cheese.
- Use any combination of your favorite cheeses (below I used Trader Joe’s Swiss and Gruyere along with cheddar cheese).
What’s your favorite mac and cheese recipe? Let us know in the comments below!