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Macaroni and Cauliflower Cheese Bake

From the book Jamie’s Food Revolution by

Introduction

You can either serve this macaroni unbaked, so it’s loose, gooey, and silky, or bake it under the broiler for a few minutes before serving to give it a crispy, golden topping. You could even try adding a grated hard-boiled egg or cooked prawns, but I like the simple style, as here.

Ingredients

½ a head of cauliflower
8 oz. Cheddar cheese
4 oz. Parmesan cheese
~ A small bunch of fresh Italian parsley
~ Sea salt
1 lb. dried macaroni (elbows)
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Steps

  1. To prepare the cauliflower: Remove the outer green leaves from the cauliflower and discard. Slice the end off the cauliflower stalk and cut the head into small florets. Halve the thick stalk lengthways, then slice thinly. Grate the Cheddar and Parmesan into a large heatproof bowl. Finely chop the parsley stalks and leaves.
  2. To cook your pasta: Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and all your cauliflower and cook according to the macaroni-package instructions. Place the bowl of cheese over the saucepan and add the crème fraîche. Carefully stir every so often until the cheese is smooth and melted. If the water boils up beneath the bowl, just turn the heat down slightly. Add all the chopped parsley to the melted cheese and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully remove the bowl of cheese using a towel or oven gloves and put aside. Drain the macaroni in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, pour in the melted cheese, and stir. It should have a lovely, silky consistency, but if it’s too thick for you, add a splash of your cooking water to thin it out a bit.
  4. At this point you can either serve the macaroni as is, or finish it under the broiler to make it crispy and golden on top. To do this, preheat your broiler to a medium to high heat. Add ⅔ cup of the reserved cooking water to the macaroni, stir in, then transfer to a baking dish. Place under the broiler until golden and bubbling.
  5. To serve your pasta: Divide the pasta between plates or bowls, or place the baking dish in the middle of the table next to a nice green salad and let everyone help themselves

This content is from the book Jamie’s Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver.

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Comments
There are 12 comments on this item
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Average Rating 5
25% recommend this recipe
1. by Carrie Floyd on May 3, 2011 at 2:09 PM PDT

This is a cinch to make and yummy to eat. Next time I’m going to try it with broccoli instead of cauliflower (not because I didn’t like the cauliflower, but because I love the combination of cheddar cheese with broccoli).

2. by anonymous on May 4, 2011 at 2:31 PM PDT

I’ve been mixing veggies in mac and cheese for a long time. Cauliflower, fennel, onions, peppers, carrots. I mix up the cheeses and the veggies and it is never the same dish, but it is always a hit.

3. by Stacy Teet on May 4, 2011 at 10:13 PM PDT

I’m eager to try this version of mac n cheese. I’ve been using cauliflower in it for a while now but the rest of the ingredients seem way healthier than what I’m using :)

I also like to throw in a few ounces of roasted butternut squash puree. It gives it a bit of flavor and the added color helps the kids think what they’re eating is similar to the boxed fake mac n cheese they love.

4. by anonymous on Aug 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM PDT

This was so good! Next time I think I will use the whole head of cauliflower. Thank you Jamie!

5. by Kati on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM PDT

Very good...but a bit rich for me. I used medium cheddar and I think next time I will stick with mild. I used the entire head of cauliflower. Kids ate it up! Thanks Jamie! I adore you!

6. by anonymous on Dec 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM PST

I found this very bland and tasteless sorry to say. Won’t be making it again.

7. by Sandra Levy on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:15 PM PST

My son loved this, but I’d like more cheese.
Oops, that may defeat the whole purpose.

8. by anonymous on Aug 25, 2012 at 5:43 PM PDT

Made this tonight and used a whole cauliflower. Only had whole wheat shell pasta so used that instead of elbows. It was a bit too much competition for the delicate sauce so a bit bland. Next time i’ll use smaller pasta and also add squash puree or sweet potato puree to increase the flavor and nutrition.

9. by anonymous on Jan 4, 2013 at 5:34 PM PST

I don’t know what I did wrong, but my cheese sauce never got silky and as soon as I mixed it with my noodles, it clumped up and got super stringy. It was basically inedible. I will not be using this recipe again.

10. by Laura on Jan 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM PST
Rating: five

I used home brand tasty cheese and some bacon bits as my meat loving boyfriend couldn’t get his head around just veggies and cheese. I’m the worst cook and this turned out great the first try! Only took half an hour. One thing I did differently was use a saucepan to melt the cheese and creme fraiche because my pot had to be huge to fit the cauliflower and macaroni and I didn’t have a bowl big enough to cover it. On a low heat, this worked wonders. One very happy first timer from Australia! Thanks Jamie!

11. by anonymous on Sep 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM PDT
Rating: five

This a family favourite. Now that we have to be gluten free I’ve substituted the regular pasta for a high quality GF one, and the results are still SPECTACULAR!!!

12. by Irakli on Aug 11, 2014 at 12:40 PM PDT

Add some Sriracha sauce to your sour cream and cheese mixture and it will blow your mind

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