Cheesy Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese


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Cheesy Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I was skeptical at first, but I am a solid cauliflower convert now. This recipe is not supposed to be a replacement for pasta. This is truly a delicious meal that stands on it’s own. I served this with a tossed salad and it was a great dinner.

My friend, Kara, made this for her family a while back and they all loved it. I made it for mine within a couple days of her posting it and my family loved it as well. So, this week, as soon as I saw cauliflower in my CSA basket this week, I knew exactly what I would be making.

I’ve made this twice now and my family devoured it each time.

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Cheesy Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Kompromised Kitchen


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese I used a medium sharp
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese thinly sliced
  • Optional: ½ lb sausage cooked and crumbled


  • Rinse and pat dry the cauliflower. Remove all the leaves. Slice from the top to the bottom stem, into 1/4" thick slices. The cauliflower should basically fall apart. The idea is to create thin bite size pieces for the most part. Layer half the slices into the bottom of your baking dish. I used a round 10" dish. Season the slices generously with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the cooked sausage, if desired. Layer the rest of the dish with cauliflower. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the starch and whisk together. Add the milk and continue whisking until smooth and heated through. Add half of the cheddar cheese and stir to combine. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth again. Add half the mozzarella slices and stir again. Repeat. Stir the sauce until the final cheese is melted and smooth. Add salt and pepper and then pour over the cauliflower. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden browned and bubbling. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Sue/the view from great island says

    I've made this with the pasta in it as well and we all loved it, but adding in the sausage would make it even better. Cauliflower is one of the very few veggies that I think needs a little extra help in the flavor department…this is perfect, thanks!

  2. hobby baker says

    I seem to be the only one in the house that really likes good old baked mac and cheese, but when I did a penne cheese and veggie medley bake, everyone cleaned their plates. So I will definitely be trying this out. We love cheesy cauliflower anyway!

  3. [email protected] says

    ahemmm, for a Celiac this IS a replacement for pasta. Gfree pasta is WAY over priced to feed the whole family and it is pretty much mush when baked. But I'm so glad you all tried it and liked it. P.S. It freezes great if you want to make double and save for a later meal. Enjoy!

    • Mary says

      ha ha ha, I guess I should have said more clearly that it wasn't "just" a replacement for pasta. I like this much better than the pasta version. Ooooh! I am definitely freezing it next time. Thanks!

  4. Jenn says

    I've had cauliflower mac and cheese before and although I'm not a cauliflower fan, it was actually pretty good. Plus it's mac and cheese… what's not to love??

    • Mary says

      I did see the cauliflower crust pizza. I have it on my list to try next week! We've been on a big cauliflower kick lately.