Photo: Maria Robledo; Styling: Anna Last
Prep Time
15 Mins
Other Time
30 Mins
Makes 6 servings

Cooking with extra-sharp Cheddar lets you use less cheese without giving up flavor. Tender cauliflower adds fiber and vitamin C.

How to Make It

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.

Ratings & Reviews

lovelovelove89's Review

January 21, 2010
Made this for the first time tonight and was pretty impressed! Not sure if I would make it for a special occasion, but I'll definitely be making it again. I made this dish with a little more pasta (15 oz package vs 12 oz), more milk and cheese, but less sour cream (approx 1 cup only vs 1 1/2 cup) and bread crumb mixture than the recipe called for and it turned out great. I also added broccoli along with the cauliflower for extra flavor and nutrition. I'm looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow for lunch!

caspercrix's Review

February 22, 2009
I'm a flavor kind of girl and this dish should NOT be called macaroni and CHEESE. I would name it Macaroni and Cauliflower. I went exactly as the instructions said and HIGHLY regret doing so. We have tons leftover and I'm just trashing it, I don't want to waste fridge space on it.

detailaddict's Review

March 09, 2013
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.

burbankd's Review

June 05, 2012

lalasnow's Review

May 18, 2009
I just made this last night for dinner. I think next time I make it I'll leave the Dijon mustard out. Seemed like it overwhelmed the taste of the extra sharp cheddar. I will say it heats up really well in the microwave. Didn't even add water. I think it may be even better the next day.

KailynTess's Review

March 29, 2009
This pasta is great! The right amount of cheese and creaminess. I did not think that the cauliflower was overwhelming, in fact I thought it would be a great meal to "hide" vegetables in. I have made this twice already, it is a pretty large recipe, but the leftovers are great! Definatley will be making it again!

Miikos's Review

October 15, 2009
Very good. not a big caulifloer fan but this is yummy! guilt free comfort food.