Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes we just crave tons of butter, cheese, and carbs, because, well, it tastes good. Macaroni and cheese is one of the unhealthier foods around, but there's a reason it's at the top of our lists. Aren't we all sort of born with a desire for macaroni and cheese? I was skeptical but interested in this healthier variation on the classic from Mark Bittman, writing for Runner's World magazine.

The idea is this: pureed cauliflower becomes a replacement for butter-and-flour roux. It's added to seasonings, chicken stock, and a moderate amount of cheese, then topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan, and baked until golden and crunchy on top.

So did it work? It's not nearly as rich and satisfying as a perfect pan of macaroni and cheese. The mouthfeel changes from silky to slightly more starchy. But it hits warm-and-gooey spot, and I didn't feel like taking a nap after. I adapted the recipe somewhat (a little more generous with the cheese, and a little less liquid) but all in all, I'd recommend giving this a try.

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