This is one of the best mac and cheese recipes, and I’ve tried a bunch of them. I’ve made this several times while adjusting the recipe and I have one word of warning…don’t increase the mustard! And I haven’t been able to get it really creamy without the velveeta.
These days, we’re seeing cauliflower everywhere as a low-carb staple. It’s used as a replacement for potatoes, for rice… even for pizza crust. That may all be well and good, but that’s not what this mac and cheese is about. It’s not “mac” and cheese or mac and “cheeze”; it’s still the unapologetically cheesy, carby goodness that you know and love as mac and cheese. There’s still pasta in there… it just has a little extra flavor bump from some cauliflower. (And, okay, maybe a few extra nutrients too.)
I used only velveeta, but doubled it to match the recipe and this was FANTASTIC. I even scaled it larger for leftovers, added a little butter and it reheated great. My husband said it was the best he had ever tasted and my 3 year old had 2 helpings! Thanks, this one’s a keeper.
In this recipe, large shells are mixed with tender cauliflower florets in an absurdly creamy cheese sauce that’s highlighted with a little bit of nutmeg and cayenne. You can always leave out the latter, but it doesn’t make the dish spicy, it just gives it an awesome extra flavor component. You can use regular macaroni noodles or penne, but we like shells, particularly for that moment when you come across one that’s facing right side up and cupping the cheese sauce like a generous little vessel of all things delicious. Do you see that one down there in the picture? That’s the noodle everyone wants on their plate.
I love this recipe! It is so easy and everyone raves about it when I take it to potlucks. I use penne pasta and add sage to my bread crumbs for more of a “gourmet” look.
1 lb (16 oz) large shell pasta
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated and divided
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