Clean Dairy-Free Mac N Cheese, made with cauliflower!
You all voted, and your epic Dairy-Free Mac N Cheese recipe is here! I am extra stoked to announce this one because you awesome people chose it. I gave you all the option of French fries, pancakes, or Mac N Cheese over on Instagram, and the overwhelming winner was this (healthier) take on a much beloved childhood favorite. I think we all have some nostalgic memories associated with mac n’ cheese from childhood, whether you had a boxed kind or something homemade.
What we are always thinking about when it comes to those flavors and textures is:
- creaminess, and that ooey gooey cheese heaven
- a nutty, sweet-but-salty flavor (we will be achieving this with some miso paste!)
- a crunchy topping, or something to add that extra wow factor
- a gorgeous colorful look, which we are getting with our blended cauliflower!
Believe it or not we are going to replicate all of this in a just-as-delicious, creamy but dairy free cauliflower mac n’ cheese. You legends are going to absolutely go wild over this one, and it makes for the ultimate cozy night in meal. I mean, check out that creamy goodness…
What makes this Dairy-Free Mac N Cheese healthier?
Typically with mac n cheese you get a lot of rich and decadent flavor, but without any boost of nutritional value. And while I am all about that goodness from time to time, there’s nothing like being able to whip up a completely dairy-free version to impress your friends! And for those of you who are vegan or loving that dairy-free lifestyle, this one is especially great for you.
While cauliflower is the hero here, it’s not a dish where the flavor of the veggies is overpowering. It just contributes to that creamy, toasty richness you’d expect, while also providing a great source of vitamin C, K, and folate, as well as choline, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are amazing for eye health, brain health, and can improve risk of heart disease.
Your nutritional breakdown for this recipe below! (it serves 3-4, nutrition facts are for 1/3 of full recipe)
So as you can see you actually get a great boost of protein with this one from that quinoa pasta being loaded with amino acids. Feel free to sub for any gluten-free pasta of your choice, though, or a wheat option if you are not gluten sensitive.
For more healthy, easy recipes, download my 21-recipe FREE ebook!
How easy is this Dairy-Free Mac N Cheese to make?
This one has a few simple steps that keep most of the cooking time pretty hands-off. While the cauliflower roasts you can do your prep for the sauce ingredients, and once it comes out of the oven all that’s left to do is blitz your sauce together and get a gentle sauté going on your garlic.
The beauty of making this sauce is that it’s all happening in a blender or food processor, and you don’t have to worry about building a sauce in the pan and standing over it! You’ll achieve all that creaminess when the cauliflower gets blended up with our nuts and spices. Get after it legends!
The Color Code:
Color: yellow (digestion, heart health, immunity)
Perfect for: a nutritious weeknight meal
Recipe: Clean Cauliflower Mac N Cheese
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 30
2 Cups Quinoa Penne
2 tsp Miso Paste
1 Cauliflower, stalk removed, florets chopped
1/2 Cup Coconut milk
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)
1/2 Cup Walnuts
1 Cup Oats
1 Tbsp Oregano, dried
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 F. or 190 C. Spread cauliflower evenly onto a sheet pan or baking tray, drizzle with 2 Tbsp of Olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- In a blender or food processor combine half the roasted cauliflower with the coconut milk, turmeric, miso paste, walnuts and yeast, set this paste aside (this can be useful for other dishes too).
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt before adding your pasta. I cook for 8-10 minutes as quinoa pasta cooks quicker, but you can always follow the packet’s instructions. Be sure to reserve some of the cooking liquid.
- In a blender blitz the oats and oregano together until it resembles a crumb, set aside.
- Add 1 Tbsp of Olive oil to a skillet on medium high heat and caramelize the garlic for 2-3 minutes, before adding in the cooked pasta, the cauliflower cheese paste and 1/2 cup of reserved cooking liquid.
- Stir for 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens, before adding in remaining cauliflower. Top with oat mix and serve.