Creamy and delicious Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower easily made in under 30 minutes for the perfect comfort food meal your whole family will love!

You asked for it.  I delivered.Meet my new best friend — lightened up mac and cheese with cauliflower thrown in, ya know, just so you get your veggies.  I’ve had SO many requests for a skinny version of macaroni and cheese and didn’t want to post just any recipe.  So I tried a bunch of different ones and this particular one was my absolute favorite!  Not only is this a healthier version, but it’s creamy, super cheesy and has a sweetness that all the other recipes lacked.

Take my word for it.

The combination of cheddar, parmesan and cream cheese was incredible and instead of making this into one big casserole like the recipe had called for, I put them into individual ramekins for portion control.  If you’re just cooking for two or three, feel free to put this in a few ramekins and the rest of the mac and cheese in a smaller casserole dish that you can heat up the next day.  That way nothing goes to waste and you can enjoy this deliciousness all week!
You may be wondering why I used Italian breadcrumbs instead of making my own.  Well trust me I wanted to, but after I had gone to the store I realized I was out of wheat bread!  So I ended up just using what I had on hand.  A better alternative is blending two pieces of whole wheat bread with about a tablespoon of olive and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese and using that as a topping for your macaroni.  Throw in some chopped parsley like I did for some color and a hint of flavor.  I also used Ronzoni Smart Taste elbow macaroni {which I LOVE} because it has the same great taste as regular pasta but is lower in points.  Can’t beat that!
5 from 2 votes

Lightened-Up Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower

Creamy and delicious Instant Pot Mac & Cheese with Broccoli easily made in under 30 minutes for the perfect comfort food meal your whole family will love!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 (14.5 oz) box Ronzoni Smart Taste elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
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  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add macaroni and cauliflower. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the water then drain macaroni and cauliflower.
  • In a separate bowl, combine Italian breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley together and set aside.
  • Place cheddar, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper in the already heated pot you just used and mix in the macaroni and cauliflower. Stir until well-combined and cheese is completely melted. Add reserved water.
  • Place in 8 greased ramekins (or a 9×13 baking dish) and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until bubbling and the crumbs are browned. Enjoy!


Serving: 1/8th of recipe | Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 16.6g | Fat: 10g | Fiber: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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As a self-proclaimed foodie and fitness enthusiast, I have a passion for cooking and a huge desire to show that living a healthy lifestyle can actually be easy and fun!  Feel free to use the meal guide above to find your new favorite meal ideas or the dietary guides to the right to narrow things down even more!

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  1. Mickie says:

    I love this recipe! My husband LOVES mac and cheese but now I can make it healthy and best part is my 3 year old asks for seconds every time I make this!

  2. marjorie says:

    Hi Kelly,

    I just tried making it last night and oh was it ever delicious! Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes. I love that you include the WW points. 🙂