Monday, January 30, 2012

Cheesy Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese

Cheesy Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
I was skeptical at first, but I am a solid cauliflower convert now. This recipe is not supposed to be a replacement for pasta. This is truly a delicious meal that stands on it's own. I served this with a tossed salad and it was a great dinner.

My friend, Kara, made this for her family a while back and they all loved it. I made it for mine within a couple days of her posting it and my family loved it as well. So, this week, as soon as I saw cauliflower in my CSA basket from Chow Locally this week, I knew exactly what I would be making. I've made this twice now and my family cheered each time.

Cheesy Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese with Sausage
recipe adapted from Kompromised Kitchen
(printable recipe)

1 head of cauliflower
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, I used a medium sharp
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Optional: 1/2 lb sausage, cooked and crumbled

Rinse and pat dry the cauliflower. Remove all the leaves. Slice from the top to the bottom stem, into 1/4" thick slices. The cauliflower should basically fall apart. The idea is to create thin bite size pieces for the most part. Layer half the slices into the bottom of your baking dish. I used a round 10" dish. Season the slices generously with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the cooked sausage, if desired. Layer the rest of the dish with cauliflower. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the starch and whisk together. Add the milk and continue whisking until smooth and heated through. Add half of the cheddar cheese and stir to combine. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth again. Add half the mozzarella slices and stir again. Repeat. Stir the sauce until the final cheese is melted and smooth. Add salt and pepper and then pour over the cauliflower. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden browned and bubbling. Enjoy!

24 comments:

  1. I have done something similar as a gratin, served on the side. I could have eaten it all on its own as a meal. Perhaps I should next time!

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  2. Ohh yum - my family LOVES cauliflower :) We'll have to give this a try!

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  3. I've often wondered about this dish. Thanks for sharing - it looks wonderful. I LOVE cauliflower!

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  4. I've made this with the pasta in it as well and we all loved it, but adding in the sausage would make it even better. Cauliflower is one of the very few veggies that I think needs a little extra help in the flavor department...this is perfect, thanks!

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  5. Thanks for posting, Ill be trying it this week..love cauliflower!

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  6. Oh perfect. I got Cauliflower in my weekly share and I think we'll make this tonight. I looks delicious. Thanks for posting it!

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  7. Yum, I like how this recipe can cram in a bunch of yummy veggies.. Looks freezer-friendly too!

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  8. Creamy and cheesy! Perfect for the ice cold weather we have over here.

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  9. Sounds delicious! One of my favorites is roasted cauliflower with sea scallops and Alfredo sauce. Oh, the yum!

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  10. YUM! Looks really tasty! We love cauliflower gratin & I'm certainly trying your recipe with cheddar & mozzarella cheese. Can't wait! :)

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  11. I seem to be the only one in the house that really likes good old baked mac and cheese, but when I did a penne cheese and veggie medley bake, everyone cleaned their plates. So I will definitely be trying this out. We love cheesy cauliflower anyway!

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  12. I'm digging the idea of this, especially if I smoked it on the grill. yum!

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  13. What a great way to sneak plenty of veggies into everyone! And who doesn't like lots of cheese on anything!

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  14. ahemmm, for a Celiac this IS a replacement for pasta. Gfree pasta is WAY over priced to feed the whole family and it is pretty much mush when baked. But I'm so glad you all tried it and liked it. P.S. It freezes great if you want to make double and save for a later meal. Enjoy!

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    1. ha ha ha, I guess I should have said more clearly that it wasn't "just" a replacement for pasta. I like this much better than the pasta version. Ooooh! I am definitely freezing it next time. Thanks!

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  15. I've had cauliflower mac and cheese before and although I'm not a cauliflower fan, it was actually pretty good. Plus it's mac and cheese... what's not to love??

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  16. This would make a great meal, sounds delicious.

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  17. What a delicious and healthy alternative to the bad boy style of mac n' cheese!

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  18. My girls seem to be on a cauliflower kick lately so I might have to see if they like this. Have you seen the cauliflower crust pizza? That looks pretty good/interesting, too.

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    1. I did see the cauliflower crust pizza. I have it on my list to try next week! We've been on a big cauliflower kick lately.

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  19. Una gran delicia de nunca acabar me encanta la coliflor,luce espectacular,abrazos ,hugs,hugs.

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  20. Vegetables and dairy with some protein thrown in. Sounds good to me.

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  21. I'm not a cauliflower fan either but if I was going to eat in, hidden in cheese would be my strategy, ha ha.

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