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Baked Mac and Cheese with Hidden Cauliflower

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Cooking spray

Kosher salt 

1 pound elbow macaroni 

1 small head cauliflower, cored 

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

4 cups whole milk 

3 tablespoons creamy French onion dip 

8 ounces shredded mild Cheddar 

8 ounces shredded Colby Jack cheese

1/4 teaspoon cayenne 

2 cups crushed sour cream-and-cheddar potato chips 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package directions. Drain and reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, grate the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater, or chop it into chunks and pulse to rice-size pieces in a food processor.
  4. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the grated cauliflower and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, another 5 minutes. Add the flour; cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  5. Gradually add the milk while stirring constantly, then increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Take off the heat and stir in the French onion dip, Cheddar, Colby Jack, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt until melted. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  7. Top the pasta with the crushed potato chips. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes (be careful, the potato chips can burn easily).
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