Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a ramikin

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Christine
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Swap out the carbs in this healthier version of Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. So creamy and cheesy, this dish is just as tasty without the pasta.



  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, cut in florets ( 8 – 10 cups)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme flakes
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup freshly grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Position rack in middle of oven. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Place cauliflower in microwave safe bowl(s), add 1/4 cup water, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 7 minutes, until cauliflower is just starting to soften. Remove from microwave, allow to cool slightly and drain. Set aside.
  3. In a large dutch oven, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add the flour and cook until lightly browned, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  5. Whisk in milk, salt, mustard, hot sauce, black pepper, and nutmeg. Stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses until melted.
  7. Fold the cauliflower into the cheese mixture until coated.
  8. Transfer cauliflower to prepared baking dish.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter until bread crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over cauliflower. Place baking dish on a sheet pan and place on middle rack of oven.
  10. Bake until edges are bubbling, 20 – 25 minutes.
  11. Serve hot.


I used 2% milk, but whole milk can be used

Tobasco is the hot sauce I used for this recipe

Gruyere may be subtituted for the grated Swiss Cheese

Keywords: cauliflower,vegetable,cheese,healthy,