Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Recipe and photo contributed by Laura Stern Yield:  6 servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  30 minutes

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

This variation of macaroni and cheese is creamy and cheesy, but dairy-free. The cauliflower, once roasted and blended, transforms into a velvety smooth texture, while the nutritional yeast adds a bit of nuttiness, reminiscent of cheese.


1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 5 cups), leaves and stalks discarded

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1 pound whole wheat penne pasta (or gluten-free pasta)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
  • Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Place the roasted cauliflower in a blender with 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons oil, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. Blend on high until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Toss again and serve.
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