Skip to content
Feb 20 / suzanne

Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Cauliflower Mac 'n' Cheese — dinner of champions!

I’ve never thought of our Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese as marathon training food. Comfort food, for sure, and potluck fare — absolutely. But given the butter, whole milk and cheese in this yummy dish, I wouldn’t expect to find it on the dinner menu at an athlete’s house.

So, I was excited to learn that marathoner Sarah Bowen Shea, co-author of Run Like a Mother and the about-to-be-released Train Like A Mother and co-founder of the awesome Another Mother Runner online running community, whipped up our mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner the other night. Not only that, but she and her family enjoyed it so much that Sarah tweeted about the dish to her followers.

Sarah, who’s busy training for the Boston Marathon, reports that several of her fellow running moms inquired about the recipe, so here it is!

I must confess that when I make this dish, I use 2% milk, whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pasta and extra cauliflower. Don’t make it with skim milk, though; it just won’t hold together.

However you make it, enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Prep time: 40 minutes/Total time: 1 hour
Serves 6 to 8

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
5 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups (8 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the cauliflower, oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Roast, stirring once, until golden and tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package cooking time; it should be less than al dente. Drain.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the milk, a little at a time at first, whisking until smooth after each addition.

Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar, Parmesan, nutmeg, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the pasta and cauliflower.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole and sprinkle with more Parmesan. Bake until bubbling and golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cook’s tip: For that go-to meal for one or two, freeze leftover macaroni and cheese in individual portions in resealable plastic bags. To bake directly from the freezer, remove from the bag, place in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 375°F until heated through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Leave a comment