Cauliflower cheese pasta bake served in a casserole dish

Cauliflower cheese pasta bake

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(1 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4

Cross cauliflower cheese with a pasta bake for a hearty vegetarian dinner that kids and grown-ups will love. It also delivers two of your 5-a-day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal587
  • fat33g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre5g
  • protein27g
  • salt1.2g
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  • 1 cauliflower, broken down into florets, core sliced, leaves removed and reserved, thick stems sliced



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

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 6 shallots, sliced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 100g large pasta shapes, such as conchiglioni



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

  • 20g butter



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

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml milk



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

  • 100g mature cheddar



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

  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), plus extra to top



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • nutmeg, grated



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 50g gruyère or comté



    Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200 fan/gas 9. Toss the cauliflower florets, leaves and sliced core with 1 tbsp olive oil in a roasting tin and season. Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins, or until the cauliflower is turning golden and smelling nutty. While it’s roasting, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the shallots, sugar and thyme. Cook for 10-15 mins until soft, sweet and caramelised. Add the wine and cook for a few more mins until evaporated. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salty boiling water until just cooked. Drain and set aside.

  2. For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat with the bay leaf. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 mins or so, until the roux is starting to bubble. Pour in the milk, little by little, stirring with a whisk, until fully incorporated and you have a smooth, lump-free sauce. Cook for about 10 mins until thickened, and then season with nutmeg and black pepper. Next, add the cheese and stir over the heat until it’s melted and smooth. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, adding the vinegar or lemon juice to taste.

  3. Tip the pasta and shallots into the cauliflower roasting dish, then pour over the cheese sauce and stir so everything is well coated. Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan, reduce the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for 20 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to settle for about 10 mins, then serve with a crisp chicory salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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martin on food's picture
martin on food
5th Mar, 2018
hmm ! the leaves are bitter the sauce is bland. I think it needs bacon.
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