The Best Healthy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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Healthy Macaroni and Cheese

A couple weeks ago I had a cauliflower festival. I’ve been cooking with cauliflower for over a decade now, and I make mac n cheese with it all the time, but this time I wanted to try to tweak this mac n cheese into more of a traditional baked mac n cheese but I didn’t want it to loose any of what makes it healthy. Taste wise I thought it would be really good baked. I was right!

Pretty much I wanted it to taste like grandma has been making it for years, but without heaps of butter, cream, flour and cheese. There is no traditional roux here… it’s cauliflower instead!

I started with my old recipe from years ago and added a bit more of the good stuff and it was a masterpiece.

It still has a slight cauliflower taste to it… at least I think it does. But it’s not at all overpowering or even one of the main tastes. Cheese it the main character of this story. I served it to my family and they has no idea till I told them that there was cauliflower… so depending on what your family thinks about healthy food… it’s up to you if you want to tell them or not!



  • 1 lb of macaroni noodles, prepared
  • 2 heads of medium sized cauliflower boiled till soft and pureed
  • 2 cups of extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of milk, I use 0 fat milk, but it can only get creamier if you use a more fatty milk {that’s a good thing right?}
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 clove of minced garlic


  1. Combine the cauliflower, milk, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a pot on low heat till it’s all combined.
  2. Add the noodles to a baking dish and pour the cauliflower mixture  over the noodles, mix well.
  3. Melt the butter and dribble over the noodle mixture.
  4. Top the noodles with the other cup of cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until it’s nice and bubbly and starting to brown.
  6. Eat!


A couple of tips: Make sure that you use the sharpest cheddar you can find. Since there is not that much cheese in this dish you want what you do use to have lot’s of flavor! Baking it really mends the flavor and it tastes great eaten right out of the oven or as left overs. It heats up really well and doesn’t dry out like other mac n cheese recipes. I like to think we have the cauliflower to thank for keeping it moist!


Do you have any macaroni and cheese lovers in your home too?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • My 3 year is currently hooked on Mac & Cheese and I am looking forward to giving this healthier version a try!

  • Everyone at my house simply LOVE macaroni and cheese! This recipe is a bit different from what we are use to making and I simply love the fact that it is healthy! Thank you for sharing!

  • We are trying to eat more vegetables in our household and trying to cut back on the calories. This looks like a win win! My husband and oldest daughter both love mac and cheese almost as much as they love me, lol. I am going to have to add this to next week’s menu plan for sure. Thanks for sharing it!

  • This might be a good way to get my son to eat more veggies. Wonder if I were to use shaped noodles if it would still come out the same since he likes pasta in shapes as it’s apparently more fun to eat.

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