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Miso Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 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