Brace yourself for the most delicious Mac and Cheese you’ll ever try.
This Mac and Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Smoked Bacon recipe is unbelievably yummy. First and foremost, you’ve got to get an awesome melting cheese. We’re using 2 of our favorite types of melting cheese: Gruyere and Fontina, combined with a lush béchamel sauce is the basis for the perfect mac ‘n cheese.
The addition of roasted cauliflower and crispy applewood smoked bacon is insanely good.
Macaroni and cheese is quintessential comfort food. I mean, while we’re at it, check out our Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese recipe! It’s pretty much the bomb!
And these ingredients work together and just make every bite something truly spectacular. The roasted cauliflower and smokey bacon are the perfect match to the creamy sauce and soft pasta.
And of course, the crunchy and flavorful breadcrumb topping is pure perfection!
This is one recipe you’ll keep in rotation, for sure.
And we just love cauliflower and roasting the florets with a touch of good-quality olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper really brings out the almost buttery flavor of the veggie.
Wesley and I love cauliflower prepared just about any way, but roasting it is probably our favorite.
This really makes a beautiful presentation, too.
The toasted bread crumbs are the perfecting topping to this incredible dish.
Set this on the table, and be prepared for a slew of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ And then wait until folks dig in. This is seriously good macaroni and cheese!
Now, let’s make this amazing Mac and Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Smoked Bacon recipe!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!
Mac and Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Smoked Bacon
- 1 baguette crusts removed
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 2 garlic cloves each sliced in half
- 6 oz Applewood smoked bacon thick slice
- 1 head cauliflower cut into small florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 4 oz Gruyere cheese shredded
- 4 oz Fontina cheese shredded
- 8 oz dry elbow pasta cooked according to package instructions
MAKE THE BREADCRUMB TOPPING
- Pulse the bread in a food processor until uniform crumbs appear
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat
- Swirl the garlic, cut side down, in the melted butter, for about 1 minute, then remove and discard.
- Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and lightly season with salt. Set aside.
ROAST THE CAULIFLOWER AND PREPARE THE BACON
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake until soft and beginning to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Lower oven temp to 350 F.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet and crisp.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and then coarsely crumble when cool enough to handle. Set aside.
MAKE THE BÉCHAMEL SAUCE
- In a large sturdy pot (i.e., Dutch Oven), heat 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes.
- Carefully add in the milk and cream, whisking constantly to fully incorporate.
- Add the mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir.
- One handful at a time, add the cheese, stirring to melt as you go.
- Gently fold in the cooked cauliflower and bacon.
- Stir in the cooked pasta.
FINISH OFF THE MAC AND CHEESE
- Pour the mixture into a 9"x13" dish.
- Top with bread crumbs.
- Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.