Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
To be 100% honest I have never loved Mac n Cheese. I know, I know, GASP! WHAT? How can you not? It’s an American staple! Even when I was little when my mom would leave my dad in charge for dinner and the only thing he could make was the Kraft Mac n Cheese from the box. I remember refusing to eat those meals because me and cheese are just not best buds, we never have been and probably never will be unfortunately. But growing up in a household that is obsessed with cheese it’s hard not to at least try to recreate that cheesy flavor!
I guess from a young age I was a little picky about my meals but this no cheese (vegan option), Gluten Free, Paleo, Whole 30 friendly Mac n Cheese loaded with veggies has me LOVING Mac n Cheese for the first time in my life!
This isn’t the typical heavy ooey gooey mac n cheese you might be used to, but it is super creamy, cheesy in flavor and a filling meal or side dish. The bone broth I used in this recipe gives it a great boost in protein with additional gut support from the collagen. But don’t worry, if you’re vegan you can use almond milk or vegetable broth in place of the bone broth! This recipe is super customizable which is important to me because I know we all have certain likes and diet preferences so feel free to change up something and make it your own!
First you are going to want to prepare the roasted cauliflower which acts as the noodle replacement in the classic mac n cheese recipes you might be familiar with.
While the cauliflower base is roasting steam the butternut squash.
I used my instant pot to steam the butternut squash which makes it a lot faster and easier in the long run. All you have to do is rinse the butternut squash, place it in the instant pot, add 1 cup of water and set the instant pot steam setting for 25 minutes. Once it is done steaming let it cool for 10 minutes, cut the squash in half length wise and then scoop out the squash and add the squash (once fork tender) into a high speed blender. I used my vitamix , but a large food processor works well too.
The remaining cheese sauce ingredients include sriracha, nutritional yeast, bone broth of veggie broth, garlic, and onion powder. Here are the brands I used!
Just add all the sauce ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy!
Once the cauliflower is done roasting and the sauce is pureed, mix them together and place the mixture in a large baking dish. I added in some sauteed spinach and topped it off with some Nut Crumbs bread crumbs alternative to add a little but more flavor and texture to the dish. These Nut Crumbs are essentially what they sound like, ground up nuts and seeds with seasoning that act as a bread crumb alternative. It’s great for anyone on a gluten free, grain free, whole 30, paleo diet and they contain no added thickeners or binders, just nuts and some seasoning!
Once its been baked the topping will be nice and crunchy while the cauliflower will be tender and so cheesy! The last 10 minutes in the oven the cauliflower really absorbs the cheese sauce and makes you forget that you aren’t actually eating mac n cheese from a box anymore!
This recipe is also great for meal prepping for the week ahead as it will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days and if I’m being honest it tastes even better the second day as it gives the sauce more time to soak into the cauliflower to absorb its cheesy goodness!
If you remake this recipe don’t forget to tag me @hollys_bestlife !! I can’t wait to see your recreations!
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Loaded Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
- 1 tbsp Avocado oil
- 1 head Cauliflower
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
For the "Cheese" sauce
- 1 medium 1 medium butternut squash steamed
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup bone broth vegan option= vegetable broth/almond milk
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp miso
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp pepper
For the roasted cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands making sure cauliflower is coated in oil.
- Place cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
For the "cheese" sauce
- Cut and peel the butternut squash
- Place in a steamer or instant pot and steam until fork tender. In the instant pot it is 30 minutes
- Once the butternut squash is fork tender add all of the cheese sauce ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor.
- Blend until creamy and smooth
- Once the cauliflower is done baking place it back into the large mixing bowl and pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir well.
- Now pour the mixture into an oven safe baking dish.