Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Mac and Cheese

  • prep time25 min
  • total time 85 min
  • serves 8 - 10

This ooey-gooey comfort food dish is vegetarian, replacing meat with cauliflower for one cheesy bite after another.

225 Ratings
Directions for: Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Mac and Cheese


7 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for dish

Kosher salt

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)

1 lb(s) elbow macaroni

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup hot sauce, plus more for serving preferably Frank's RedHot

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tsp dry mustard

2 ½ cups half and half

1 lb(s) sharp yellow Cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)

8 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

⅔ cup sour cream

1 cup panko

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook the cauliflower until just tender, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the cauliflower and immediately submerge it in the ice water to cool completely, then drain. Bring the salted water back to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the blanched cauliflower and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute more.

4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the Cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

5. Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish and pour over about half of the cheese sauce. Top with the cauliflower mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the remaining cheese sauce evenly on top.

6. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then serve with additional hot sauce on the side.

Source and Credits

Copyright 2017 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

See more: Cheese, Bake, Comfort Food, Main, Pasta, Side, Vegetables, Vegetarian


More Recipes You'll Love