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Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese

This casserole sounds so simple however there are several components to prepare before the casserole can be assembled. To simplify the preparation I am going to suggest a few shortcuts that will reduce the prep time.

The pasta of course does need to be cooked in a pot of boiling water until al dente, however you have several options with the cauliflower.  The cauliflower florets can be steamed in a steam oven or in the microwave, rather than using another saucepan. I don’t advise cooking the florets with the pasta as the rapidly boiling water may soften them too much.

The cheese sauce can be prepared in a saucepan or in the microwave.  If preparing the sauce in the microwave you will need a large glass measuring cup or bowl with at least a 4 cup capacity. Combine the butter and flour and heat in the microwave for a minute or so, then add the milk and heat for a minute or so until thickened. Check the seasoning before combining with the cheese and the cooked pasta and cauliflower. Or you can prepare as directed below.


Convection Bake Mode

This delicious Mac and Cheese Cauliflower casserole is perhaps the most popular comfort food. It incorporates some steamed cauliflower but you could also substitute broccoli if you prefer.

Susanne Jensen




3  cups elbow pasta

2  cups, small cauliflower or broccoli florets

3  tablespoons butter

3  tablespoons all purpose flour

2  cups milk

1  teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1  cup grated Jack cheese

2  cups grated Cheddar cheese

¼  cup fine breadcrumbs mixed with

¼  cup grated Parmesan cheese and

2  tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Cook the pasta in 8 cups of water with ½ teaspoon of salt, drain and rinse in cold water.

Steam the cauliflower and when cooked combine with the pasta.

Heat the butter in a small heavy saucepan, add the flour and stir to blend.

Cook for a few minutes taking care not to let the butter get too dark.

Whisk in the milk and cook over moderate heat until thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese whisking until it is all blended, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Preheat the oven to Convection Bake 350 degrees (using Convection ensures even heat distribution and enables you to roast some meat or vegetables on another rack at the same time).

Mix  the cheese sauce with the cooked pasta and cauliflower and pour into an oiled oven casserole dish (approx 9 x 13) cover and bake on the center rack for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the breadcrumb, parsley, Parmesan cheese mixture over the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes until the topping has browned.

Serves 6



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