Sneaky Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower is the secret ingredient in this recipe. Odds are good the kids won’t even notice it with the two kinds of pasta and three kinds of cheese.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 10 minutesTotal: 55 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 10


  • 1 1⁄2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup whole wheat small shell pasta
  • 2 1⁄2 cups 2% milk
  • 1⁄4 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 1 package (3 oz.) low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat American cheese
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat Colby cheese
  • 1⁄4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Cut the florets into small pieces about the size of the shell pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the cauliflower pieces for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Remove cauliflower with slotted spoon and set aside; keep water boiling. Cook pasta in the water until al dente according to package directions.
  • In large saucepan, combine milk, flour, butter, salt, and pepper. Stir well with wire whisk, then bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, American cheese, and Colby cheese; set aside.
  • Add pasta and cauliflower to sauce; stir gently and pour into casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and bread crumbs are browned.