Miso Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy

I’m currently watching “The Keepers” which is SO interesting but is all about murder…this means that I’m currently scared to go to the restroom by myself. I love true crime but at the same time I hate watching it. It’s like eating lots of spicy food or something—so good but it hurts!

Anyway, most days I don’t consider mac and cheese “healthy” per-se. But today is a lil’ different. I wouldn’t recommend making this when you’re seriously trying to diet but I would say it’s definitely healthy…ish.

This recipe comes from my friend The Savvy Cook. One of the most popular recipes that people love to make over and over on this blog is actually Top With Cinnamon. It is seriously one of my favorite chocolate cakes. It’s so easy and delicious so my expectation for this mac and cheese was UP THERE!

And I have to say, I looooove the miso in this dish. I actually would go as so far as to say I wanted more of it (so below I added a range that will help). It adds a nice umami, savoriness to the macaroni and cheese.

The pasta calls for whole wheat and the macaroni and cheese has a whole head of cauliflower. It’s first steamed and then divided. Some of it goes in the sauce, along with cheese and miso. And then some of it is baked with the whole wheat pasta.

I’m going to be honest and say I straight up dislike whole wheat pasta but I know I’m in the minority. I say use what you like: wheat or regular. The end result is something that is very savory and delicious and creamy and it definitely feels pretty lightened up.

Izy’s book is really smart and interesting. It’s loaded with tons of base recipes with ways to customize them and make them yours. There are a ton of tips and tricks that are super helpful and cool. And it’s all vegetarian! Since Izy is in school for nutrition, a lot of the recipes are super healthy yet they don’t seem that way at first glance.

Here’s a link to Izy’s book and blog.

Miso Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 4 TO 6


Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, (about 12 oz/350g when leaves are removed), outer leaves removed and heat cut into medium florets
  • 5 1/2 oz/150g dry whole-wheat penne pasta or regular penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or nondairy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup/4 1/2 oz/120g shredded sharp cheddar or a blend
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons miso, any kind
  • Salt


  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Italian or panko breadcrumbs


To Make the Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and simmer for 5 minutes. Scoop the cauliflower out and set aside.
  • If using dry pasta, add the pasta to the same pan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes less than the time specified in the package directions. Drain and return to the pan.
  • Mix half the cooked cauliflower into the cooked pasta, then pour this into a medium casserole dish and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Return the pan to the stove with the oil over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the milk, drizzling it in a bit at a time and stirring well between additions. Add the smoked paprika, garlic, and most of the cheese, reserving a heaping tablespoon for sprinkling.
  • If using a handheld blender, put the reserved, cooked cauliflower and miso (add more if you like) into a beaker with a tablespoons of the hot milk mixture and blend until smooth. Return to the pan, stir until smooth, then pour over the pasta and cauliflower in the casserole dish.
  • If using a countertop blender or food processor, pour the hot milk mixture into the blender with the reserved, cooked cauliflower and miso and blend carefully until smooth. Pour over the pasta and cauliflower in the dish. Mix it all together and give it a taste. I added a few more pinches of salt.

To Make the Topping:

  • In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, add the butter and when melted add the breadcrumbs and cook until toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, along with the reserved cheese atop the macaroni and cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cheese on top has melted and browned.
Serving: 4g
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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  • Reply Kim October 31, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Will an 8×8 pan be big enough or do you recommend using a 9×13?

  • Reply Liz | Flour de Liz June 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I am super intrigued by this recipe! I can’t wait to try it! And I’m with you on the whole wheat pasta. I think it tastes like the box it comes in!

    What did you think about The Keepers?! I have so many theories!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 27, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      The Keepers was crazy. I grew up Catholic so it was especially crazy for me. I honestly don’t ever remember any kid ever talking about this type of stuff happening, but I also wasn’t a vulnerable kid. Now, I’m like was this going on in my school?!?!?! Probably….

  • Reply Kristina June 6, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Made this over the weekend and it came out wonderful. I totally didn’t know what to expect with the miso-cheese combo, but I loved it. I think my garlic clove was bigger than average, and for people who don’t love garlic as much as I do, it might have been too much. I was really impressed with how well it reheated too. Normally baked mac and cheese gets kind of coagulated upon reheating for me (not that it keeps me from eating it!), but this time the texture was just as creamy and perfect as it was fresh from the oven. Maybe it was the addition of the blended cauliflower. Definitely going to check out the book. Thanks for posting this!

  • Reply Kim May 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I think you mean panko breadcrumbs, instead of panic breadcrumbs. But panic breadcrumbs is pretty funny.

  • Reply ReaderRita May 31, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I love the notion of “panic” breadcrumbs. Don’t you just love auto correct?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      OMG hahah I love that. It’s so fitting.

      • Reply Avani May 31, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        I literally thought you’d coined a term for tearing up/toasting bread crumbs in a hurry if you’re out of them aka “panic” breadcrumbs

  • Reply carlos at Spoonabilities May 31, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Fascinating recipe but I’m very curious how the Miso tastes in Mac and cheese along with the cauliflower.

  • Reply stephanie le May 31, 2017 at 10:56 am

    i’m digging this miso mac and cheese situation! i’m not sure about whole grain pasta either, but i gotta say that the fibre aspect of it is appealing LOL
    i totally wanna cook this, maybe cauliflower only!??!