Sneaky Mac ‘N Cheese: Healthy Comfort Food

Baked mac 'n cheese with delicious, cauliflower rice is healthy comfort food.
Sneak some cauliflower in your mac ‘n cheese. Same great taste PLUS some veg and fibre!

Mac ‘N Cheese is a classic for good reason: it’s pasta, milk, cheese, some bread crumbs and … more cheese. Well, this recipes turns this classic, into truly healthy comfort food. What’s the secret? Cauliflower rice.

Don’t sweat it, that’s just cauliflower florets whirred in the blender with water and drained). So sneaky, because you can’t even see the rice mixed in with all that cheese and elbow macaroni. Comfort food plus vegetables and fiber. Yummo.

Here’s another classic, kid-friendly meal perfect for fall.

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Sneaky Mac 'N Cheese

Course Main Dish
Cuisine comfort food


  • 2 cups elbow macaraoni
  • Cheese Sauce:
  • cup ¼unslated butter
  • cup ¼all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard or pinch of dry mustard
  • tsp ½salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cheese: old cheddar marble, gruyere, ementhal, mozzarella, monterey jack or any combination
  • Sneaky Part:
  • Adding this veg is tototally optional. But it's an easy way to get a bit of fibre and veg. Cauliflower florets about half a cauliflower
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cups ½bread crumbs/panko crumbs
  • cup ¼butter melted


  • Fill a large pot with cold water and add a good toss of salt. Bring to boil and cook elbow noodles until al dente (that means when you bite it, you see a little white dot in the centre of the pasta). It takes about 8 minutes. Drain and and set aside.
  • While the pasta is boiling, prepare the cauliflower florets. Place florets in a blender. Cover with water. Pulse until the florets look like rice grains. Drain through a fine mesh sieve. Push the cauliflower rice with a spatula to get all of the water out. Set aside.
  • Grate cheese and set aside.
  • Make sauce:
  • Remember you are using 3 of the four cups of cheese for the sauce!
  • Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add milk and keep whisking so there are no lumps. Add Dijon, salt and pepper. Add the cheese handfuls at a time and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon. Don't stir with a whisk because all the cheese will get trapped in the whisk and you'll be sad.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Grease Dutch oven with oil or butter. Put drained pasta, in Dutch oven. Add cauliflower rice, stir. Pour cheese sauce over and stir thoroughly so all the noodles are fully coated.
  • Topping: Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top of noodles. In a small pan, melt butter. Sitr in bread crumbs/panko. Sprinkle on top of Mac 'N Cheese.
  • Bake covered for 20 minutes and remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.


large pot
fine mesh sieve
medium sauce pan
Dutch oven (deep caserole with lid – can't have plastic handles!!.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!