Cauliflower mac & cheese

Cauliflower mac & cheese

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 2
Combine cauliflower cheese with macaroni and thyme for a comforting pasta bake that only takes 10 minutes to prepare

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal898
  • fat45g
  • saturates21g
  • carbs78g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre10g
  • protein39g
  • salt1.3g


  • 1 cauliflower (about 800g/1lb 12oz), cut into small florets



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

  • 1 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…

  • ½ small pack thyme, leaves picked


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 300g macaroni
  • 50g butter



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

  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 700ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 140g cheddar, grated



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

  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated



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

  • 50g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped


  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Toss the cauliflower with the oil and half the thyme, and spread out on a large non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20 mins until softened and golden brown. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni following pack instructions. Drain.

  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the flour and mustard, and cook for 2 mins. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and remaining thyme. Return to the heat and cook for 4-5 mins, whisking all the time, until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Remove from the heat for 2 mins, then stir in the cheddar and half the Parmesan.

  3. If the macaroni is sticking together, pour a little boiling water over it, then drain and add to the sauce with the cauliflower. If the sauce is a bit thick, add a splash more milk. Tip into a large, shallow baking dish, sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and top with the macadamias. Bake for 20 mins until cooked through and bubbling at the edges.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Jill Walker's picture
Jill Walker
15th Dec, 2018
Must be a mistake on the serving for 2.Surely it should be for 4.The calories in the whole recipe come to over 3000.
22nd Oct, 2017
it did make more than 2 portions - but we didn't mind having enough for the freezer! unfortunately it is quite bland - thought could have had more cheese flavour, add paprika to the mix and possibly more mustard and other 'bits' (sweetcorn? sundried tomatoes?). hubby thought gammon would go well with this, i thought some nice fresh veg would be good.
NigellaB's picture
23rd Sep, 2017
This is really tasty & a hit with our teenage boys who normally hate cauliflower. Added extra Gruyere which was hanging about in the fridge & used Penne instead of macaroni which I didn't have to hand. Luckily I made double as the lads were fighting for seconds & thirds. Just to add that this recipe is quick & fairly straightforward to make. Roasting the cauliflower brings out the flavour compared to just par boiling it. Prep time was around 10 minutes & another hour to cook it - so 70 minutes which was about spot on. Just wish people understood the terms before commenting.
8th May, 2017
Had a tentative go at this as reviews are not particularly good but was pleasantly surprised. Its delicious (I added bacon by just baking it when I cooked the cauliflower and then snipping it in with the pasta etc). Yes it could serve more than 2 (we just had seconds!) and yes it does take longer than 10 mins but most of the recipes take longer than they say! We didn't use nuts but sprinkled with a little fresh basil after baking, yum.
11th Apr, 2017
"that only takes 10 minutes to prepare"? You have to roast the cauliflower for 20mins before baking for 20mins. How does this equate to 10 minutes?
dave6376's picture
23rd Jan, 2017
Tasteless, stodgy, horrible and a waste of good ingredients. Even if it was edible the quantity is FAR too much for two people.
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