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Smoky Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese”

Smoky Gouda Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese” isn’t really mac and cheese…there is no pasta involved and you won’t miss it AT ALL!! SO delicious!!!!

Smoky Gouda Cauliflower "Mac and Cheese".. there is no pasta involved and you won't miss it AT ALL!! SO delicious!!!!

OK, this recipe is totally off the beaten path for me. I mean unless you consider the loads of gorgeous cheese sauce.

So yeah, maybe it’s not that much of a stretch…

Anyway, the point is, it’s a veggie based dinner. Like a for-real Meatless Monday meal…AND it’s a low-carb situation, if you care about that kind of thing.

I mean, I call this “Mac and Cheese”, but there is no “Mac” involved. I just thought “Cauli-Cheese” sounded a little like a foot disease, and kind of wanted avoid that.

Still hungry?

I would also like to point out that my kids DEVOURED this. The recipe is written to be a full meal, but you could easily half the recipe and use it as a side dish.

Just grab 2 heads of cauliflower and clean and cut it up…


The “smoky” part of the title comes from the Smoked Gouda that I used. You absolutely could sub this out for Cheddar, but the Smoked Gouda is SO super yummy, and melts like a dream…


Just boil the cauliflower a little bit until it’s tender and drain it…


While it’s cooking make a simple cheese sauce and then mix the cauliflower into the sauce.


I transferred mine into a Dutch Oven, sprinkled MORE cheese on top and then baked it a bit…

Smoky Gouda Cauliflower "Mac and Cheese".. there is no pasta involved and you won't miss it AT ALL!! SO delicious!!!!


Smoky Gouda Cauliflower "Mac and Cheese".. there is no pasta involved and you won't miss it AT ALL!! SO delicious!!!!


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Smoky Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese”

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Cookies & Cups


  • 2 heads of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups grated Smoked Gouda cheese
  • 2 3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a Dutch Oven or large sauce pan bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil . Add a generous few pinches of salt to the water. Add the prepared cauliflower to the water and boil for 3-5 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Drain completely.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet melt 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour, seasoned salt and smoked paprika until it form a paste. Cook for about 30 seconds then slowly stream in the milk, whisking the whole time. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously until it thickens slightly. Add in 2 cups Smoked Gouda and 2 cups cheddar and stir until cheese is melted. Add cauliflower back to the Dutch Oven and pour cheese sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and place in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly.


I like to serve this in individual “crocks” as well. Just divide among the crocks and sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven for same time, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

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14 comments on “Smoky Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese””

  1. Made this last night and honestly this sauce would make shoe leather taste fabulous! I like a little crunchy on my mac ‘n cheese, so I put it in an oval baker instead to get lots of surface area and added a generous helping of homemade bread crumbs on top before putting in the oven. This recipe is a keeper, thank you!!

  2. Wow this recipe sounds (and looks) delicious. Can’t wait to give this a try. Maybe I could actually get the hubby to eat some veggies with this one.

  3. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture

    I love this. I think the cauliflower and the cheese negate each other, so it’s like you didn’t eat any calories at all. Yes? Also the addition of Gouda – such a fantastic idea!

  4. We have that dish here in the UK, we just call it cauliflower and cheese. This is the exact recipe we use, except we usually prefer cheddar.

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