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Blog

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Patricia Reitz

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese - ButterYum

Welcome to my first submission to the Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina from Mom's Crazy Cooking.

  • What is it?  A monthly blog hop.
  • This month's challenge?  Search blogs for macaroni and cheese recipes, chose one, make it, and blog about it. 
  • The purpose?  To highlight other blogs and have fun meeting new bloggers along the way.  
  • How can you participate?  Visit the links below and vote for your favorite!

So, who likes homemade Mac and Cheese?  More like who doesn't, right?  I know, I love it.  Especially when it includes meat and veggies because that means I only have to make one dish for dinner.  As far as I'm concerned, that makes this the ultimate mac and cheese.

Okay, so I started with a recipe for cauliflower mac and cheese that I found on a wonderful blog called Chocolate and Carrots by Caroline - the recipe is one Caroline adapted from another blog.  I adapted it yet again to accommodate my family's preferences and it was a hit with everyone, even my picky teen who doesn't like anything I cook.  Maybe you'll give it a try and make a few adaptations of your own.  Enjoy!

Ham and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

makes one 9x13 casserole

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped (cooked in salted water until tender)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (cooked in salted water until al dente)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk, plus 1/2 cup morefor pureeing cauliflower
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (7 ounces)
  • 12 ounces cooked diced ham
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Butter a 9x13 casserole pan; set aside. 
  3. Puree cooked cauliflower and 1/2 cup milk in a food processor until smooth; set aside.
  4. In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over med-hi heat. 
  5. Add flour and whisk to combine; continue cooking while stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add 4 cups milk, mustard, salt and pepper; boil for 2 full minutes or until thick; whisking constantly.
  7. Turn off heat and whisk in cauliflower puree and cheddar cheese until smooth. 
  8. Fold in cooked pasta and diced ham; pour into prepared casserole dish. 
  9. Sprinkle top evenly with bread crumbs and dot with 2 tablespoons cubed butter. 
  10. Bake uncovered for 1 hour until hot and bubbly. 
  11. If needed, place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown. 
  12. Rest for 10 minutes before serving (will be soft).

Note: to cut square servings as shown, allow to cool for at least an hour.