Cauliflower & bacon pasta

Cauliflower & bacon pasta

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(38 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4

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

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal673
  • fat34g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre3g
  • protein35g
  • salt2.8g


  • 200g streaky bacon
  • 300g dried pasta



    Pasta is the Italian name for Italy's version of a basic foodstuff which is made in many…

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into large florets



    A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

  • 25g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 140g cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 1 soft wholemeal roll, whizzed to breadcrumbs
  • salad, to serve, (optional)


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Quality Street 35
21st Jan, 2018
The ultimate in comfort food and we loved the crunchy topping.
17th Jan, 2018
Delicious and easy to make, I did add a little extra cheese. The kids loved it and both went back for seconds :)
koolk_2009's picture
30th Mar, 2017
Very tasty dish, everyone enjoyed it! I felt it needed more cheese than recipe said.
JW Inspiration
18th Feb, 2016
Made 1 and a half times the sauce. Upped the cheese. Extra slice or 2 of smokey bacon. Added a good whack of smoked paprika to the cheese/breadcrumb topping and grilled to finish. It's the dish the family asks for on a weekly basis. It more than your average mac n cheese....lots of flavour. If you're not a huge fan of cauliflower then you can half it or replace with broccoli. Can't recommend it enough...proper comfort food with a delicious tang.
13th Jan, 2016
Very nice. Tasty and easy to make and went a really long way. Easily fed 4 adults with some left over for hubby's lunch the next day!
27th Sep, 2015
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
1st Sep, 2015
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!
16th Jun, 2015
Agree with others about the smoked paprika. I added mine to the blender when crumbling the bread. Made a tasty crispy topping.
20th Apr, 2015
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
9th Feb, 2015
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.


5th May, 2020
How do I reheat after frozen?
lulu_grimes's picture
6th May, 2020
Hello, The is Lulu from the food team. if you have a whole dish, defrost the dish and then put it into an oven set to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for about 20 minutes or until the sauce starts to bubble and the dish is hot all the way through. Keep and eye on the dish as it reheats, if you dish is shallow it may take less time, if it's deeper and smaller then it may take longer. If you have just saved a portion then you could defrost and reheat in a microwave. I hope this helps.
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