Cauliflower & bacon pasta

Cauliflower & bacon pasta

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(12 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins

Skill level



Serves 4

Cauliflower and macaroni cheese in one pasta bake? This family-friendly gratin is comforting and filling

Nutrition and extra info

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Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 200g streaky bacon
  • 300g dried pasta
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 140g cheddar, grated
  • 1 soft wholemeal roll, whizzed to breadcrumbs
  • salad, to serve, (optional)

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  1. Heat the grill to high and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Grill the bacon slices for 5 mins or until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper and cut into small pieces.
  2. Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Add the cauliflower to the pasta pan for the final 8 mins, so that it is just tender, then drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the cooking water.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, then stir in the flour and cook for a couple of mins. Gradually stir in the milk, mixing well between each addition. Bring to a simmer, then cook for a few mins until thickened. Season, add the mustard and half the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  4. Tip the pasta and cauliflower back into the pan along with the reserved cooking water. Stir through the cheese sauce and bacon, then transfer the mix to a baking dish. Mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese, then sprinkle over the pasta. Cook for 5 mins under the grill until browned. Serve with a salad, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2013

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Show comments
wrightyboy's picture

Nice tasty dish, all the family enjoyed it. The streaky bacon gives it a good salty flavour. I added diced carrot at the same time as the cauliflower for some more veg and colour. My 9 year old has just had the left overs from yesterday and ate it all so that's a good sign! Would recommend it

x-x-x-faerie-x-x-x's picture
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This was delicious! Will definitely be making again, perhaps will try with some chicken or tuna. Very tasty indeed, hit with everyone including my two year old who had two bowls!

richml1979's picture

Agree with others about the smoked paprika. I added mine to the blender when crumbling the bread. Made a tasty crispy topping.

mouse38's picture
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This replaced our old macaroni cheese recipe as the family favourite - the bacon goes really well and it's very easy to make.

smith0054's picture
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A really tasty meal. My comments mirror others in that I would probably make double the cheese sauce as there was definitely not enough despite adding more milk to the very thick sauce. With regards the cauliflower I would only use half as I felt the cauliflower overpowered the dish. As for the bacon, I used smoked back bacon which added a smokey element which was delicious but I would probably use double quantity. Next time I am going to try a bit of paprika as suggested. Overall, a lovely mid-week evening meal.

Baz070810's picture
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Sooo tasty! I took the advice from other reviewers and added quite a lot more milk (about 450mls), some raw brocolli, and 300g bacon. Oh, and good call on the smoky paprika! That made it. Really great. Will def make again.

littlemissspurfect's picture

I made this last night. It was really delicious and full of flavour. I added chicken alongside the bacon and cauliflower. I ought to have reduced the amount of bacon in the dish as I'd added the chicken, but I'll know for next time. Also, I thought it needed to have a little bit more sauce. All a learning curve. Will def be making this again, but just reducing the amount of ingredients I use as I was only cooking this dish for two people.

sianroberts's picture

My 9 yr old son helped me make this for his cub badge. We added broccoli for extra veg, and when made we enjoyed every mouthful.

0andyandrach0's picture

We loved this! It was great for the lunch box the day after aswell. Just as yummy as leftovers

cds's picture

Really tasty easy to cook dish. I have six kids and normally at least one of them complains but they polished this off and have been asking for it again ever since so definitely a winner!

XDonnaXxXxX's picture

This was a big hit with my partner and three kids. Easy and quick to make. Love it! Definitely making it again soon x

musicbizmum's picture

This came out well and tasted even better the next day reheated for lunch. It didn't specify how big the cauliflower should be and as they're in season at the moment ours was quite large and the cauliflower flavour unfortunately overpowered the mac, cheese n bacon (which didn't impress my fussy 10 yr old!). Also had to add in a tin of evaporated milk as the sauce wasn't 'wet' enough once in the casserole dish. Baked it for 20 mins instead of grilling as per someone else's comment.

gemessex's picture

Loved by the whole family. Next time I will add a bit of smoked paprika for a bit of added oomph

jayharrison1's picture

Really liked this, went down a treat with my 11 month old. Think i may add a little more mustard next time but not too much.

88keysau's picture

I did a vegetarian version for friends and used blue cheese instead of cheddar. I left out the mustard as well. Was a big hit and people were fighting over the last spoonful! LOL