This dish will most likely satiate your mac and cheese cravings. You might not even realize you’re eating a vegetable. I typically make this for the holidays because it kinda kills two birds with one stone. The mac and cheese combination vegetable side.
It’s pretty easy to make as well. You par boil the cauliflower so that you take it out of the water BEFORE it is fork tender. Very important to not overcook the cauliflower because then you will end up with cauliflower mash. Plus, keep in mind that you are also baking the vegetable for 15 minutes or so in the oven. In addition, make sure you pat dry the cauliflower as dry as you can get it. You don’t want steaming in the oven with the sauce. It will be watered down and not as creamy.
This dish actually has many possibilities. Cauliflower, as we all know is so versatile and pairs well with everything. You can add cooked bacon to the dish or grilled chicken and make it a meal.
Baked Cauliflower ‘Mac’ and Cheese
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 oz cream cheese, cubed
- 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- fresh chives for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 375° F. Spray a baking dish with olive oil.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut your cauliflower into small florets. Cook until CRISP TENDER – DO NOT OVER COOK. Remove the florets from the pot and PAT AS DRY AS POSSIBLE with paper towels. Transfer to your baking dish.
- In a small pot, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Whisk in the cream cheese, mustard, seasonings and salt + pepper to taste until incorporated. Add ONE CUP of the shredded cheese and mix to melt. Pour this mixture over your cauliflower and toss gently to coat. Spread them out in an even layer and top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
- Bake until heated through – about 15 minutes. Turn on broil for two minutes to get the golden brown top. Sprinkle with chopped fresh chives and serve.