How to Make Classic Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Special Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.

First of all, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the fantastic role that side dishes play. I will gladly put it this way: side dishes complete a meal course. Here in the United States, people love mac and cheese sides, and today we will happily put a little spin on this trendy side. My classic cauliflower mac and cheese is worth every praise. This deliciousness will give you the authentic satisfaction of the real thing with fewer calories (obviously).

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese about to be served.
This was glorious. A must-try!

Classic Cauliflower Mac and Cheese side dish.

Whether you are intentionally looking for a healthier holiday side dish to host your family and friends, or you want a smart way to add more veggies, this cauliflower mac and cheese comes through. Click To Tweet
  • Healthy.
  • Nutritious.
  • Delicious.
  • Easy to make.
  • Kid-friendly.
  • Cheesy.
  • Yummy!

The list is endless. When it comes to this side dish, you have total creative control, in other words, you can make it your way.

Furthermore, let’s appreciate the versatility of vegetables; this cauliflower mac and cheese can compete with the real mac and cheese any time any day!

Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, or family reunion, this meal is a winner!

Cauliflower Mac and cheese serving size. YUM!
Don’t judge but yes, I have also love this dish as main dish as well. All you need to is add some protein meat, fish, or tofu.

Make this side your way.

I like keeping things simple, yippee!!! To make this dish, I used to white cauliflower heads, some milk, a combination of different cheeses, onions, and garlic. As per cheese, use your fav type of cheese for mac.

All ingredients for healthy cauliflower Mac and cheese recipe
The simpler the better 🙂 Here’s almost everything you need for this recipe.

Enough said, let’s go ahead and make this dish already.


How to Make Classic Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 people 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Look no further for a perfect holiday side dish; this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe is festive, flavorful, and fabulous! You are bound to fall in love with this!



  • 2 fresh heads of cauliflower
  • 2 cups of cheese (Parmesan, asiago, and mozzarella)
  • 2 cups of milk (or less)
  • 1 cup of chopped (white or yellow) onions and garlic
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • ½ white or black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of plant butter
  • 2-tablespoon of flour
  • More salt and Pepper to taste (if needed)


  1. Wash and cut all vegetables and set aside. Place a big clean pot on the stove and add olive oil, as it starts to heat up and add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook to soften (for about 2 – 3 minutes) and then add the cut cauliflower. Stir, and add the salt, seasoning powder, onion powder, and pepper. Stir very well to combine. Cook cauliflower up to 10 – 12 minutes to sauté a little bit. This will help to reduce the moisture content of cauliflower. Turn off the stove and scoop off cauliflower into another bowl to chill until the next step.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 and spray a baking dish, set aside.)
  3. Rinse the big pot (or use without rinsing), place it back on the stove at medium-high heat and allow the pot to heat up. Add butter and reduce heat to medium-low. Add flour into the butter and keep stirring for about 2 – 3 minutes or less (until the flour is no longer raw). Then begin to gently stir in the milk, add all the milk, and continue to stir gently. Add some salt and pepper and taste for flavors (remember, the cauliflower is well seasoned, so don’t add too much salt). As the milk starts to thicken, turn off the stove and add the cheese if possible, leave out a ¼ of cheese to sprinkle on top.
  4. Add the sautéed cauliflower and gently coat and mix well into the cheese sauce, ensure that every bit of the cauliflower is coated in cheesy goodness. Then add the entire cauliflower into the sprayed baking dish, sprinkle the remaining ¼ of cheese on top of the cauliflower “mac and cheese,” and then place it into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top of your cauliflower “mac and cheese” starts to develop a golden-brown color.
  5. Remove from oven, and place in a safe area to rest a bit before you start digging in. Garnish with rosemary or parsley for a touch of green. Serve by itself or alongside other favorite dishes. Enjoy!


Cauliflower has tons of moisture, so if you love thick sauce, you could increase the quantity of flour as well as cheese. You could already reduce the milk from two cups to about 1 – 1½ cups of milk.

I have, in the past, used a combination of regular flour with almond (2 tablespoons of almond flour and one tablespoon of regular flour), and it worked fine.

I used plant butter; you can use regular one if you choose.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cauliflower Recipe, Vegetarian Mac and Cheese, Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe, Cauliflower gratin, Cauliflower Mac and cheese, Cauliflower side dish

What do you think about this recipe? Would you be making soon?

And if you love this recipe, then I know you will enjoy my:

Ok, this is unrelated, but it is true: I took a leap of faith and started on Instagram on October, 6th 2019. Well, if you are on IG, let’s connect. I share great healthy living tips and recipes.

Before you leave, please check out my fantastic light and lovely recipes here. They are a collection of quick and easy to make healthy meals I know you will love.

If your friends and family are like mine, then I know they would appreciate you sharing this recipe with them. Thanks in advance for sharing this post!

With love,

Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH

Hi, I'm Nkechi "Kechi" Ajaeroh, a Public Health professional turned Inspirational author slash exceptional home cook. A 2x International Best Selling Author of Elevate Your Life with the Power of Positive Perception and Gratefully Growing. African, (specifically, Nigerian) Food Enthusiast, watermelon connoisseur, on my to finessing my fitness. This blog is all about loving food, living life, practicing gratitude, and inspiring you to use your wings. Join the journey.

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