I agree with caspercrix's assessment that this is better characterized as a "cauliflower-macaroni dish with cheese". I roasted the cauliflower to enhance the flavor and used 1% cottage cheese instead of sour cream, pureeing them together with the milk to make the sauce. There was plenty to coat the elbows but it was still a little dry so I added an extra 1/4 cup milk before putting it in the oven. Instead of bothering with the crumb topping I just turned on the broiler for a few minutes. I also heeded the warning about the mustard and (ahem) cut it in half. I had only colby on hand so I used a full 8-oz block to make up for the milder flavor; but it still wasn't very cheesy. I will probably tinker with this some more as I love the cauliflower idea and it might be better if I used actual cheddar.
Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower
Photo: Maria Robledo; Styling: Anna Last
More From Real Simple
Other: 30 Minutes
Amount per serving
- Calories: 537
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated fat: 9g
- Cholesterol: 51mg
- Sodium: 692mg
- Protein: 24g
- Carbohydrate: 63g
- Fiber: 8g
- Sugars: 8g
- 12 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 4 slices multigrain bread, torn
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup 1 percent milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.
Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and pulse to combine; set aside.
Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard.
Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
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