Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a great side dish that even picky eaters will love. Eat vegetables in the best way possible, covered in cheese! This is a great way to lighten up a comfort food classic like mac and cheese.
How do you make cauliflower mac and cheese
Cauliflower mac and cheese is fairly straightforward to make. Like with any mac and cheese recipe you’ll prepare your cheese sauce separately and add in the steamed cauliflower as the final step. I prefer to steam my cauliflower instead of boiling it as it doesn’t absorb as much water, which would make the cheese sauce loose. I also use fresh cauliflower as frozen cauliflower will release a good amount of liquid as well.
The cheese sauce is a standard cheese sauce which I use in all of my mac and cheese recipes. It’s a simple take on a sauce that begins with a good roux, milk and of course cheese.
What kind of cheese to use
I like to use a blend of cheeses, but I primarily use cheddar cheese as it has a good melting point and becomes very smooth. Sharp cheddar is preferred, but a cheddar blend also works really well. I also add in a bit of parmesan to balance out the flavor. Stay away from very hard cheeses or crumbly cheeses as they will melt differently and alter the texture of the sauce.
How to make a roux based sauce
Making a sauce from a roux base is a classic and easy way to make a sauce. First start by bringing your pan to a medium-high heat. Add in equal parts by weight butter and flour. Cook the roux mixture until it begins to turn tan and develops a nutty smell. You’ll want to stir this fairly continuously as both the butter and the flour will burn easily.
For light colored sauces, stop the roux once it begins to have a nutty aroma. For darker sauces and more flavor, continue cooking the roux until it is a dark tan (this is used a lot in cajun cooking as it has more flavor).
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Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a great side dish that even picky eaters will love. Eat vegetables in the best way possible, covered in cheese!
- 2 Pounds Cauliflower Cut into florets, 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Milk
- 2 Cups Half and Half
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 2 Cups Sharp Cheddar
- 1 Cup Cheddar Jack
Steam cauliflower for 15 min or until fork tender. Set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir together until fully incorporated. Cook roux until flour is cooked through and it has a slight nutty aroma.
Slowly add milk to roux mixture, whisking together so that it is smooth and fully blended together. Add is half and half.
Add in seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk in cheese and stir until fully incorporated. Let simmer for several minutes until sauce thickens.
Add cauliflower to the sauce mixture and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve and enjoy!