Food Network recipes for Sargento Cheese
Recipe courtesy of Sargento Foods Inc.

Baked Cauliflower, Leek and Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

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  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 5 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fill a large bowl with ice water. 
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook 3 1/2 cups of the cauliflower until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove the florets with a slotted spoon, and plunge in the ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, strain and reserve. 
  3. Return the water in the pot to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Strain the pasta, shaking the colander a few times to drain excess water. 
  4. While the pasta is cooking, heat 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat in a large pot. When the butter foams, add the leeks, mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are lightly browned and the mushrooms are tender, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Whisk in the half-and-half and bay leaf, and cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Lower the heat to a simmer, add 2 teaspoons salt and simmer 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat, take out the bay leaf and let sit for a minute. Add 3 1/2 cups of the Cheddar, and stir until smooth. Gently fold the cooked cauliflower and pasta into the cheese sauce, and transfer the mixture to the baking dish. 
  5. Pulse the remaining 1/2 cup cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles couscous. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave, about 1 minute. Add the melted butter, breadcrumbs, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the food processor and pulse until combined. Sprinkle evenly on top of the pasta mixture. Sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve hot.