Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole was the dish that my mum made to get us to eat our vegetables when we were kids.
And it worked! I always happily gobbled up my cauliflower cheese bake.
This cheesy cauliflower casserole bake is a skinny french version, without the unnecessary calories, and it’s meatless.
What is cauliflower Mac and Cheese?
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe is a cheesy roasted cauliflower casserole dish.
The name, Mac, and cheese is an adaptation of our favorite pasta mac and cheese.
The macaroni was completely replaced by the healthier cauliflower and the mac in the name is just a decoration to let us know that this cauliflower bake is a cheese lover’s dream dish. (I am serious!)
Low Carb Cheese Sauce
To prepare a low carb cheese sauce for the cheese cauliflower bake seems almost impossible right? However, there is a simple way to make a creamy delicious cheesy sauce without compromising on taste by still keeping it all skinny and low carb.
The trick is to make a French cheese sauce. That means the low carb cheese sauce is based on a cheesy bechamel sauce and the sauce is poured over the cauliflower mac and cheese casserole.
French folks know how to stay slim and trim and a skinny sauce is second nature when preparing a cauliflower casserole dish for dinner.
The best part is that the low carb cheese sauce is actually easy to prepare from scratch too!
How to make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole?
To prepare the mac and cheese with cauliflower casserole from scratch you will need only a few ingredients.
- fresh cauliflower
- black pepper
The nutmeg and black pepper will add great flavor to the meal and are essential in this baked cauliflower recipe.
First, you will need to break your cauliflower florets small so that you can boil them for a short time. This helps in the roasting process later so that the cauliflower is cooked properly in the casserole dish.
While the cauliflower is cooking, we prepare the bechamel cheese sauce. This skinny sauce will turn this mac and cheese with cauliflower special!
Second is the sauce. Grab a saucepan and add in the butter to melt. Then to build up the sauce you just need to throw in the small quantity of flour, whisk that smooth with the butter and continue to pour in the milk a batch at a time while still whisking on and on.
Eventually, the butter-flour mixture will have incorporated itself into the milk on the stove and slowly the sauce will thicken. Then you just need to season with salt, black pepper and scraped nutmeg and at the end, you add the cheese so that it melts into the sauce. Done!
Step three is the simplest cooking step. Now place the cauliflower florets into the casserole and pour the skinny bechamel sauce over the florets. Top it all with some cheese and pop it into the oven to roast.
Your mac and cheese with cauliflower will get a lovely cheese crust, which has been my eternal highlight of this dish since I was a kid.
Tools and things you can use to make this low carb cauliflower mac and cheese:
Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole Recipe
How to Video
- 1 small Cauliflower
For the skinny Bechamel Cheese Sauce:
- 2 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg powder
- to taste Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2/3 cup Grated Cheese *see Notes, 2/3 cheese for the sauce, 1/3 for the roasted cheese crust
- Cut off the green parts of your cauliflower and break the florets into smaller pieces. Wash the cauliflower bits to remove impurities. Keep a pot of water to boil then place the florets into the water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the cauliflower in the hot water until further use.
- To prepare the cheese sauce, grab a saucepan, add the butter and let the butter melt. then add the flour and whisk to a smooth paste on a very low heat (it should not cook or burn!). Next, over medium heat, pour in the milk batch by batch and keep on whisking the content until all the milk has been used up and the content is well incorporated.
- Then let the sauce be over low heat and season with grated nutmeg, salt, and black pepper.
- Allow the sauce to thicken gradually over slow heat by still whisking through the sauce frequently. The bottom of the pan shouldn't burn on and nor should the milk overcook. You will notice the sauce thickening. Once it's thick enough (let it still be a bit liquid) add 2/3 of the 80 grams of grated cheese into the sauce and mix well. The other 1/3 grated cheese will be used for the casserole topping. The sauce is ready!
- Keep your casserole dish ready and place your partially cauliflower florets into the dish. Then pour the whole bechamel sauce over the cauliflower and top with the remaining 1/3 grated cheese.
- Pop into the oven and roast at 180 Celsius/356 Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes or until a golden crust emerges over the cauliflower mac and cheese.
- Serve hot immediately.
- Double the recipe any time if you need more cauliflower mac and cheese!
- Use low sodium salt to reduce the sodium intake in this recipe
- Do not skip the nutmeg and black pepper, those are essential flavor givers. Besides nutmeg has been known to be a spice with comforting and relaxing properties.
- For the cheese, you can use something like Emmenthal, cheddar, raclette, gruyere, Monterey comté, and even mozzarella. In fact, you can be bold and try one of these suggested cheese varieties in a stronger flavor variation. We usually use something like an Emmenthal in Europe but of course, you can try the cauliflower mac and cheese with 2-3 cheese variations combined too. The cheese picked changes the whole dish completely!
What to serve with roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese?
To serve with cauliflower you have a few simple options. Green Salads always go great with this skinny cauliflower mac and cheese casserole, especially when it is a salad with a vinaigrette dressing to keep it all light.
You can also try to have it all with a protein. So what I love to do (and please don’t judge me!), I will boil an egg and open up a tuna can and add to my plate with the cauliflower mac and cheese. This is my comfort food!
As a meat lover, you can serve the cheese cauliflower bake with a cooked beef patty or how about rotisserie chicken?
More like the roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole:
Dear Reader, did you like vegetables as a child?
Please feel free to share with us in the comment section further below!