Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

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Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Comfort food just got a makeover with my Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe!

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

Hello! Hello!

Mac & Cheese is my ultimate comfort food vice.  I like the southern baked kind, the creamy saucy kind and really even the kind right out of the box.  I’m a first class, equal opportunity Mac & Cheese lover.  There is not a kind I don’t like!  Unless you sneak bacon or ham in it… that’s not fair!

Now as much as I love it, I know it’s not the best for me so I do try to eat it in moderation OR eat my new made over Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe!

What if I told you there was an entire head of cauliflower snuck in there?!? <—Three CHEERS for veggies!

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

And that the cauliflower doesn’t take away from the cheeeeeeesssiiii-ness… it really just adds to it?  FOR REAL, friends.

I mean look at that bite!  I can’t even think with that kind of cheese on the table.

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

This Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe is really pretty simple.  Turns out the cauliflower puree is actually the perfect way to combine the cheese into a sauce without having to use butter or flour. You just steam cauliflower, puree it and then melt the cheese into it.  It melts right in wonderfully!

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

I top the casserole with panko and a little parmesan to get that golden brown color.  We do eat with our eyes after all.

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

Underneath that perfectly crispy shell, the Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe is so flavorful.  The addition of good sharp cheddar cheese and traditional Mac & Cheese spices keep you from even tasting it.  I suspect you’d even be able to trick the kids and hubby with this one… just sayin!

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

You can bake it in a larger casserole dish or small individual ones.

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

Either way, my Cauliflower Mac & Cheese recipe has got to go the top of your must-try list now!  It’s the kind of recipe you’ll make again and again.

And we all can rejoice for enjoying healthy comfort food with a twist!

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

I hope you enjoy this and as always let me know what you think!

Like it? Find this recipe later by pinning this to a favorite Pinterest board! Thank you so much for the support.

Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt


Healthier Mac & Cheese- yes! Hidden Veggie Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese #recipe #healthy Click To Tweet
Creamy & Healthy Hidden Veggie Cauliflower Mac & Cheese / Running in a Skirt

Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Julie Wunder
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese is healthier, but still super creamy! Uses an entire head of hidden veggie cauliflower puree.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine American


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 16 ounces whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 cup 2 % milk
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste!
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste!
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Steam the cauliflower in a steam basket until very tender.
  • While the cauliflower is steaming cook the pasta in a large pot with salted water 1 minute less than the box instructions. It will be just slightly al dente and will continue to cook in the oven. Drain and set aside.
  • Using a blender or food processor, mix the cauliflower and milk until it's a smooth puree. Make sure there are no clumps.
  • Put the cauliflower puree back in your large pot. Heat to medium low heat. Start adding the cheese one handful at a time and stir until it melts. Also add the garlic powder, mustard powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Once the cheese is all melted, add the macaroni back into the pot. Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings / salt/pepper to taste. Pour the entire mixture into a casserole dish.
  • In a small bowl mix the panko, parmesan and olive oil together. Evenly spread the bread crumb mixture on top of the casserole.
  • Bake in oven 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Julie_Wunder or tag #RunninginaSkirt!

Thanks for stopping by today! Tomorrow is Fashion Friday and I have a new look to share.


Your turn!

What’s your favorite comfort food?

By | 2018-09-28T16:22:49-04:00 February 16th, 2017|All Vegetarian, Dinner, Food, Side Dishes, Vegetarian Meals|36 Comments


  1. Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese May 12, 2020 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    […] Creamy Cauliflower Mac & Cheese (hidden veggies) […]

  2. […] Hidden Veggie Baked Cauliflower Mac & Cheese * […]

  3. Susanna Barbee February 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Yum! I love healthy versions of soul food dishes. And this is a great way to get all the boys in my family to eat vegetables. I plan to make this very soon!

  4. Ali February 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    What a great way to incorporate cauliflower! I often find I have more cauliflower than I need and am always looking for inspiration for what to do with it – will definitely be pinning this recipe!

    • JulieWunder March 4, 2017 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Yay! Thanks for the pin and hope you get a chance to try it.

  5. Miz Helen February 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I just pinned your awesome Creamy Cauliflower Mac N Cheese and thanks so much for sharing it with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. Sarah February 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Love cauliflower and swapping it out, such a great recipe! Happy Meatless Monday!

  7. Barrie February 20, 2017 at 9:31 am - Reply

    I would love to try this on my kids…they probably would not do it- but I would adore this! I love creamy mac, and all that good cauliflower makes me feel less guilty about it!

  8. Marcia February 20, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Wow I love mac n cheese but I shy away from it, but hello cauliflower?? I’m all over this! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Annmarie February 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    I would never know that this had cauliflower in it if you hadn’t said so. Looks amazing….I kinda wanna just dive right into the dish! 😛

  10. Alison @ Alison's Allspice February 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I’m a huge fan of pasta dishes, and your sauce looks amazing! I might have to throw in some broccoli too, because broccoli and cheese sauce are made for each other! I found you at the Weekend Potluck.

  11. Patricia @Sweet and Strong February 17, 2017 at 7:15 am - Reply

    I first had cauliflower mac and cheese last Easter and loved it! Can’t go wrong with cheese and veggies in my opinion 😉 Thanks of rate recipe, can’t wait to try this one!

  12. Kristy from Southern In Law February 16, 2017 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Oooh! what a clever little way to sneak some veggies in!

    • JulieWunder March 4, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Thanks Kristy! Felt like I was winning at life with this one! lol!

  13. Annette Curti February 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    As s time saver have you tried this recipes using frozen rices cauliflower?

    • JulieWunder March 4, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

      I haven’t tried it yet… you’d still need to puree it. You could buy one of those bags of steam in the bag cauliflower and just microwave it until really tender… and then puree! That would save the time of chopping up the head of cauliflower!

  14. Kerri Olkjer February 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness! I love sneaking in veggies everywhere, but this is so creative! Yum.

  15. I wish my hubs would fall for the hidden veggies but alas he will not. I would love to jump right into that dish myself

    • JulieWunder March 4, 2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

      haha!! It’s a hard selllll… I try to not mention it until AFTER dinner. lol!

  16. [email protected] February 16, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Sounds like a great addition to mac and cheese, Julie! I like cauliflower but my husband….not so much. Need to keep trying to convince him!

  17. Beth Ann Chiles February 16, 2017 at 7:11 am - Reply

    4 stars
    You had me at cauliflower! What a great recipe and guess what? I am going grocery shopping today so will pick up the necessary items and make it ! Yay! Thanks!

  18. heather @Lunging Through Life February 16, 2017 at 6:59 am - Reply

    YOu know, I’ve never made anything with cauliflower. This looks too good to pass up. I’d love to find a way to sneak more veggies into A’s (ok, and my) diet, ha! I loveeee mac n cheese.

  19. Susie @ Suzlyfe February 16, 2017 at 6:06 am - Reply

    I’m all about the veggies, hidden or not! I ate so much mac n cheese when I was a kid, and even though I’m not a big cheese or pasta person, it still just is like getting a big hug!

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