This Rich and Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is so cheesy you won’t even miss the macaroni! Plus, it’s an easy way to sneak in veggies!
I know you all must sit at home watching Chopped sometimes and think that you know exactly what you would do with the ingredients given. I know I usually do. Unless they are given something insane like sea urchin. Then I would have to tap out. Immediately.
When I heard of Food Network’s Chopped Challenge sponsored by Sargento®, I was all in. Then I saw the list of ingredients and drew a total blank. It’s harder than I thought it would be! The first round includes 4 required ingredients: Sargento Sharp Cheddar, Cauliflower, Cremini Mushrooms and Leeks.
You still have 13 days to enter — the grand prize is $10,000! — and I would love to hear your ideas if you do enter! I also thought about a cauliflower soup or a flatbread…but of course I settled on Mac & Cheese. Given the choice, I will always pick pasta.
Easy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
When I started playing around with this Mac & Cheese recipe, I knew I wanted it to be super super cheesy. I tried a lot of different cheese combinations and settled on sharp cheddar, parmesan and Sargento’s 4 state cheese blend.
I had not tried the 4 state cheddar cheese blend before (it’s a mix of Wisconsin Cheddar, Vermont Cheddar, New York Cheddar and California Cheddar cheeses), but it was the prefect accompaniment to the traditional sharp cheddar and parmesan. Sargento cheese is available in 30 versatile varieties and is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese??
You are going to absolutely love this Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. It has so much flavor packed into each bite with the addition of the leeks and cremini mushrooms. Jorge looked at me like I was crazy when I was adding roasted cauliflower and mushrooms to our Mac & Cheese, but after the first bite he was sold.
Once I won the vegetable hating husband over, I tried this out on the twins and they each ate an entire bowl. Of course, their favorite dinner is mac & cheese, but I was not sure how they would take to the vegetable additions. They didn’t even seem to notice and gobbled it up! Yay for hidden vegetables!
Hope your family enjoys this Cauliflower Mac & Cheese as much as we did!
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- 8 cups cauliflower chopped into 1-inch pieces, about 2 heads cauliflower
- 1 cup cremini or portobello mushrooms, diced
- 4 tablespoons oilve oil, divided
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large leek, white & light green part only, finely sliced
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar
- 8 oz shredded white cheddar, or a cheddar blend
- 5 oz shredded parmesan
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
- Toss cauliflower, cremini mushrooms, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil together. Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring half way through.
- In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and let cook for 30 seconds. Add leeks, cooking until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add all the shredded cheeses and milk to the sauce pan and stir, until cheese melts. Then add in the sour cream, ground mustard, pepper and salt. Set aside.
- Once cauliflower and mushrooms are roasted, remove from the oven and add to a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce mixture and fold to combine. Transfer mixture to a greased casserole dish. (11×7 or 9×13 will both work.)
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, bread crumbs and parsley. Sprinkle over the top of the mac and cheese.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, just until the bread crumbs on top are lightly browned. Serve immediately!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.
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