Baked mac and cheese with roasted cauliflower

This creamy comfort dish gets a flavor and nutrition boost from roasted cauliflower. It’s half pasta and half cauliflower, which makes the dish more interesting from a texture and flavor standpoint, and saves calories and saturated fat in the process. Using Greek yogurt and low-fat milk in place of a traditional roux also helps cut back on calories and extra saturated fat. 

Makes 6 servings / Prep time: 10 minutes / Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 ounces uncooked whole wheat rotini (about 2½ cups)
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1½ cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup 1% milk
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika


  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  2. Toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of the oil and bake on the baking sheet until the cauliflower begins to brown on the edges and is soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, pulse the bread crumbs in a food processor or blender together with the parsley, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Set aside. 
  5. Drain the pasta. Return the empty pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Add the onion and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheddar, Parmesan, yogurt, milk, mustard powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir to combine all the ingredients. 
  7. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Per serving: 316 calories, 19 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g total sugar, 18 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 520 mg sodium, 410 mg potassium (9% DV), 402 mg calcium (40% DV), 48 mg magnesium (12% DV), 0.5 mcg B12 (20% DV), 0.264 mg B6 (20% DV), 1.5 mg iron (8% DV)

About the book:

Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook is the perfect guide for pregnant women. Full of humor, heart, and wisdom, it promotes clean eating and the idea that using food as medicine is the best remedy for dealing with the symptoms that occur most during pregnancy—such as swollen ankles, bloating, and more.

From HEALTHY, HAPPY PREGNANCY COOKBOOK. Copyright © 2016 by Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh. Reprinted with permission of Atria Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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