Daily Vegan Recipe - Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese

The cauliflower gives this dish an even richer, cheesier taste.

YIELDS: 10 - 12 servings

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 0 mins


3 tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish

1 lb. cavatappi or other short pasta

1 medium-sized head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 tsp. mustard powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs 

1/2 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, and onion. Season with salt. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add 4 cups water and simmer until vegetables are very soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid; let cool slightly.

  3. Combine vegetables, Cheddar, Parmesan, mustard powder, and cayenne in a blender (depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches). Purée, adding just enough reserved cooking liquid to get mixture moving, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Add sauce to pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Toss together panko, parsley, and remaining tablespoon oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.

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