Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  • 10MINS
  • 20MINS
  • 278KCAL
Easy Peasy Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese pinchofnom.com

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories278
  • Carbs32g
  • Protein2.1g
  • Fat7.1g
  • Saturates3.6g
  • Sugars4.7g

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

This Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a combination of two classic dishes and it’s the perfect way to get some extra veg into your diet, as the cauliflower is barely recognisable when it’s blended into the cheese sauce!

Adding cauliflower to the sauce may not be the usual choice, but we promise that this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese is so tasty that you’ll never go back! The cauliflower helps to make the sauce taste so creamy, that you’d never believe it was slimming friendly if you didn’t know.

As this dish can be frozen, it’s also perfect for batch cooking and is delicious when served with garlic bread and a fresh side salad!

What diets is this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese suitable for?

This Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese can be made suitable for gluten free diets as long as you replace the following ingredients with gluten free alternatives;

  • Macaroni pasta
  • Vegetable stock cube

Please make sure to double, and triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipe?

  • You need to count 9 Points per portion of this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipe if you’re on WW Green.
  • You need to count 9 Points per portion of this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipe if you’re on WW Blue.
  • You need to count 9 Points per portion of this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese recipe if you’re on WW Purple.

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese?

Nope! You should be able to find all of the ingredients that you need for this recipe in your local supermarket!

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We’ve used a blender like this one to get the sauce super smooth!

You’ll also need an ovenproof dish like this one so that you can get the cheese all crispy and golden – that’s the best bit, after all!

How many calories are in this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese?

There are 278 calories per portion in this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category. 

This Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers. 

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Put on a pan of water to boil.

Step 2

Spray a frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and fry the bacon for a few minutes until crisp. Place on a plate and set to one side.

Step 3

Put 1/4 of the cauliflower aside and blitz the remaining 3/4 of the cauliflower until it looks like cauliflower rice. Place the blitzed cauliflower to one side.

Step 4

Wipe out your frying pan,  spray with low calorie cooking spray and then sauté the onion and garlic on a medium heat.

Step 5

Once the onion begins to brown, mix in the blitzed cauliflower.

Step 6

Make up the stock and, alongside the mustard powder, add to the frying pan. Turn the heat down so that the pan is gently simmering and simmer for around 15 minutes.

Step 7

Add the pasta to the pan of water and cook as per the instructions on the packet. 5 minutes before the end of the cook time, add the remaining pieces of cauliflower that you set aside earlier (not the blitzed cauliflower!).

Step 8

Once the pasta & cauliflower is cooked, drain well, reserving a few tablespoons of the water in a cup. Return to the pan and set aside.

Step 9

Mix together the cheddar and parmesan.

Step 10

Stir the cream cheese into the cauliflower mix, alongside half of the cheddar and parmesan. Tip the whole mix into a blender and then blitz until smooth (it should be the consistency of cheese sauce). This might take a couple of minutes. If your sauce is too thick, then just add a little of the pasta water that you reserved earlier to thin it out a little.

Step 11

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir in the tablespoon of buffalo sauce and the cooked bacon.

Step 12

Pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the remaining parmesan and cheddar mix evenly over the top.

Step 13

Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

Cauli Mac ’n’ Cheese - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What could I serve with this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese?

This Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese is delicious when served with any of the following dishes:

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How do you know when this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese is cooked?

You’ll need to cook the sauce for this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese for around 15 minutes before blitzing until smooth.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.

How long can you keep this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.

Can you freeze this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat this Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with a loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 2-4 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until piping hot.

Our NEW cookbook Everyday Light is OUT NOW!

Cauli Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This recipe is a great way to pack in some extra veg as the cauliflower is barely recognisable when blended into the cheese sauce!
  • Prep Time
    10 MINS
  • Cook Time
    20 MINS
  • KCals 278
  • Carbs 32G
WW Points
  • 9 Green
  • 9 Blue
  • 9 Purple

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower leaves removed
  • 400 g macaroni pasta
  • 6 bacon medallions chopped into approx 1cm square pieces
  • 100 g low fat cream cheese
  • 80 g reduced fat cheddar
  • 30 g Parmesan
  • 1 vegetable stock cube made up with 250ml boiling water
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • low calorie cooking spray

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Click here for our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  1. Bring a pan of water to boil.
  2. Spray a frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and fry the bacon for a few minutes until crisp. Place on a plate and set to one side.
  3. Put 1/4 of the cauliflower aside and blitz the remaining 3/4 of the cauliflower until it looks like cauliflower rice. Place the blitzed cauliflower to one side.
  4. Wipe out your frying pan, spray with low calorie cooking spray and then sauté the onion and garlic on a medium heat.
  5. Once the onion begins to brown, mix in the blitzed cauliflower.
  6. Make up the stock and, alongside the mustard powder, add to the frying pan. Turn the heat down so that the pan is gently simmering and simmer for around 15 minutes.
  7. Add the pasta to the pan of water and cook as per the instructions on the packet. 5 minutes before the end of the cook time, add the remaining pieces of cauliflower that you set aside earlier (not the blitzed cauliflower!).
  8. Once the pasta and cauliflower are cooked, drain well, reserving a few tablespoons of the water in a cup. Return to the pan and set aside.
  9. Mix together the cheddar and parmesan.
  10. Stir the cream cheese into the cauliflower mix, alongside half of the cheddar and parmesan. Tip the whole mix into a blender and then blitz until smooth (it should be the consistency of cheese sauce). This might take a couple of minutes. If your sauce is too thick, then just add a little of the pasta water that you reserved earlier to thin it out a little.
  11. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir in the tablespoon of buffalo sauce and the cooked bacon.
  12. Pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the remaining parmesan and cheddar mix evenly over the top.
  13. Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

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Our NEW cookbook Everyday Light is OUT NOW!

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