Creamy, Fast and Easy Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

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I love cooking special meals, learning new techniques, experimenting with flavor...but the everyday stuff?  Not so much.  The rush to get a meal on the table and in the tummies before we head off to dance and band practice and swimming and girl scouts (and...and...and...).  I need more quick, easy meals that the whole family will enjoy, so I developed this recipe for easy Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower.  

Cheesy white cheddar deliciousness, full of roasted veggies and sprinkled with each family member's favorite topping?   On the table in under 30 minutes?  That's my kind of busy night recipe (is there any other kind of night?)

Roasted Cauliflower Horizon Organic Macaroni and Cheese:

  • One box of Horizon Organic Pasta Shells and White Cheddar Cheese, prepared according to the directions
    • includes one box of Pasta Shells and White Cheddar Cheese mix, 1/4 cup milk, and 2 Tablespoons butter
  • one small head cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • favorite herb blend (optional)

For Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese Toppings:

  • Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Horizon Cheddar Snack Crackers, crushed

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a pot of salted water for the pasta on the stove to boil.  Chop up one small head of cauliflower into small pieces (roughly the same size as the pasta shells).

Toss cauliflower with approximately two teaspoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Place on a roasting pan, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.  The cauliflower will be tender and cooked through, and just starting to get those lovely golden brown edges.

While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the Horizon Organic White Cheddar Shells and Cheese pasta.

Combine the roasted cauliflower and the pasta shells and cheese sauce.  I personally like this even better with broccoli, but for some reason my kids really dig the white shells and the white cauliflower together.  I tried it with the regular variety of Horizon mac and cheese, and they weren't nearly as impressed, based solely on the non matching colors, silly kids.

We're big fans of cheese in this family, and good cheese at that.  When Niamh, my youngest daughter, was just two, she came up to me and asked, "Mommy, do you like string cheese?"  "Why, yes I do," I replied.  "Do you like string cheese?"  Niamh paused for a moment, and said, "I like emmentaler."  When I make my homemade baked macaroni and cheese, I use all sorts of interesting, flavorful cheeses, and I particularly love the crunchy, crumbly crust on top of the warm and melty noodles beneath.  And you know what?  Sprinkling crushed up Cheddar Snack Crackers on top of this cauliflower macaroni and cheese comes really close to creating that same homemade flavor!  

It's great with bacon crumbled on top, too.  There's just something about the natural sweetness of the roasted cauliflower and that fabulous salty goodness of the cheese and bacon.  Yum!  

Of course, you can't go wrong with crumbled cheddar crackers AND bacon.  Best of both worlds!  It doesn't get much better for a hurried weeknight dinner.

Looking for more easy ways to dress up macaroni and cheese and make a meal of it?  Check out the Horizon MAC-N-ATOR recipes board on Pinterest!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Other Macaroni and Cheese recipes You Might Like:

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Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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