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This super easy One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is the perfect recipe for sneaking in the vegetables. Short cut pasta and nutrient-packed cauliflower are boiled together until al dente. Then a splash of milk, a handful of sharp cheddar cheese, and just a touch butter are all stirred together for a creamy mac and cheese, that’s cozy yet healthy(ish) too. Added bonus, this simple mac and cheese is made all in one pot, in just about thirty minutes.

overhead close up photo of One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Sharing the absolute easiest, coziest, comfort food recipe today. And you guys…it’s the perfect Monday recipe for cold, snowy winter days (which is what is going on here!). Growing up, mac and cheese was never something my dad would make. If my brothers and I were eating mac and cheese it was either the boxed Kraft mac and cheese or Stouffer’s frozen mac and cheese.

Oh my gosh, do you guys remember those days? Pure childhood comfort. I wouldn’t mind going back for just a day or so. Twas the best to come home from school, shower (I always, always showered the minute I got home from school…I was so weird), cozy up by the fire, and enjoy a cheesy bowl of pasta while watching Gilmore Girls.

Simply the best.

Lately, I’ve been drawing some inspiration from my favorite childhood comfort foods. Which made me realize that I don’t have a good stove-top mac and cheese recipe. How that is I have not a clue. But the good news is that I quickly worked to change that and created the perfect (healthy…ish) creamy, one pot mac and cheese.

Enter this stove-top, extra creamy cauliflower mac and cheese.

This. Is. So. Good. Healthy…ish. And easy too.

raw cauliflower head

Here are all the details.

As I said, I’ve been looking to my childhood for some inspiration recently. And, of course, mac and cheese was a beloved staple for my brothers and me while growing up.

I knew I wanted to create the perfect stove-top mac and cheese that was similar to the boxed stuff, but much, much better…and so much healthier. With the addition of cauliflower, I was able to use way less cream, butter, and even cheese. But yet still have a super creamy and cheesy stove-top mac and cheese.

As you can guess, this is so quick and easy. Start by boiling a big pot of water on the stove. Use a pot that will be large enough to hold both the pasta and the cauliflower.

While the water is coming to a boil, start chopping the cauliflower. You’ll want to roughly chop the cauliflower into similar size pieces as your pasta. The idea is that the cauliflower really blends in with the pasta so that you may not even realize it’s there.

Once the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and the cauliflower. Boil together until al dente, then simply stir in all the remaining ingredients, and that’s kind of it. The key is using a touch of cream cheese and creamy dijon mustard for creaminess. This creates the perfect amount of creamy sauce, but still keeps things on the lighter side.

For the cheeses, I love using a mix of sharp white cheddar (for flavor) and creamy fontina and or provolone, for creaminess. Together they create that ideal cheese pull we all love so much.

Then a touch of garlic, a sprinkle of cayenne (to your taste), and fresh herbs for additional flavor and to finish out the recipe.


overhead photo of One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Some ideas to switch up the recipe a bit…

If you prefer a baked make and cheese, that works well here too and will be delicious. Just leave out the final cup of cheese and instead transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish, then top with that reserved cheese. Bake for twenty or so minutes and wallah…you’ll have cheesy baked mac and cheese!

Want to add more vegetables? Spinach and artichokes, roasted broccoli, or crispy mushrooms would all be great as additional stir-ins. Really you can easily adapt this recipe however you’d like. It’s pretty hard to mess up!

So while this isn’t identical to the Kraft box cheese (thank goodness), I’d take this recipe any day. I might be biased, but I think it’s so much better. The real cheese flavor shines through and the creaminess from the combination of cauliflower, cream cheese, and cheese is beyond perfect.

I couldn’t think of a better Monday night dinner. It’s cozy, but healthy..ish, easy and so delicious. Bonus? I am ninety-nine percent sure you can get your kids, husband, and all the picky eaters in your life to eat (and love) this.

Looking for other Mac and Cheese recipes…click here!

overhead close up photo of One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Lastly, if you make this one pot creamy cauliflower mac and cheese, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Watch the How To Video:

One Pot Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 511 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons salt,
    the pasta, and cauliflower, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Do not drain the water. Stir in the milk, cream cheese, mustard, and garlic powder, and cook until the cream cheese has melted and the pasta is al dente, about 4-5 minutes more.
    2. Add the cheeses and butter, and stir until melted and creamy. Remove from the heat. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. If the sauce feels too thick, add ¼ cup of milk or water to thin.
    3. Divide the mac and cheese between bowls. Top with fresh parsley, chives, and pepper. Enjoy!
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  1. 5 stars
    Substituted cauliflower for broccoli and added the entire 8 Oz block of cream cheese because I wanted to make it extra creamy 🙂 SO DELICIOUS! Paired it with steak

  2. 5 stars
    I was craving mac and cheese last night, and gave this a try. It was completely perfect as written, though I think I may had added closer to 4oz of cream cheese because there was a lingering 1/2 a brick in my fridge.
    I couldnt believe that the 4 cups of water was going to work, but I trusted you and it did! I made this with 2, 1lb bags of frozen cauliflower even though I had a head of fresh, because I didnt think the difference would be discernable(it wasn’t) and I’d rather save the fresh head for Crispy Cauliflower tacos or Buffalo Cauliflower. I could see roasting the fresh caulflower with spiced crumbs and serving on top. That could elevate this to fabulous, but it is also another todo, and sometimes fast and easy is key.
    We had this with spicy cucumber salad, and some blanched kale to offset the creaminess. Easy, fast, delicious dinner.

  3. How long did it take to scoop pasta into that bowl with that tiny wooden spoon? Any chef in the world isn’t that absorbed with themself!

  4. 4 stars
    Made this last night.
    I did drain some of the water after cooking the cauliflower and pasta as I could tell I had too much water and I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t use coconut cream again, I would just use cream or milk next time.
    I put the raw cauliflower in the food processor before cooking it so it was more likely to be eaten, I also added peas just before serving.

  5. 5 stars
    Go to favourite!! This is a meal the entire family enjoys and whips up in a snap for buys weeknight dinners. Use whatever cheese is on hand and always keep a bag of frozen cauliflower to chop up in seconds.

    1. Hi Jackie,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that you have been enjoying this recipe and appreciate your notes and feedback! xT

    1. Hi Cheri,
      Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for trying it out! xx

    1. Hey Robin,
      No need to drain the water for this recipe:) Please let me know if you give it a try, I hope it’s delish! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Yummy and comforting. The only change I made was to use Gruyere instead of fontina since that was what I had on hand. The cauliflower completely went incognito.

    1. Hey Djienne,
      Fantastic!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I’m thrilled to hear that it turned out well for you:)

    1. Hey Kara,
      Happy Friday!!❤️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad it was delish! xT

    1. Hey Angel,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and sharing your comment, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious and easy to reduce the number of servings! Canned coconut milk worked great for this recipe.

  8. 4 stars
    I made this tonight. It was quite good. I accidentally tipped in too much cayenne pepper, but that’s totally my fault. I also should have added more milk at the end as it thickens up quite a bit. There are plenty of leftovers so I’ll add milk when I heat it back up – maybe in the oven. I love the method, and not needing to boil the pasta separately. I would make it again!

    1. Hey Gretchen,
      Happy Wednesday!! ❄️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  9. 5 stars
    This is a go to recipe for my family!! Such a comfort food. Wondering how to sub frozen broccoli since I forgot to add cauliflower to my grocery list this week.

    1. Hey Marina,
      Happy Sunday!!❄️ I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for trying it out and sharing your feedback! xx

  10. 5 stars
    We make this a few times a month, definitely a family favourite! So easy to make and modify based on what we have at home.

    1. Hey Kayla,
      Love it!!🤩 So glad to hear that this recipe is always a hit, thanks so much for making it so often! xx

    1. Hey Leslie,
      Sure, you could freeze and then to reheat just heat on low, I think that would work best! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT