How to: Big Batch Casserole-Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I think that the word casserole can sometimes have a negative connotation. Maybe when you hear casserole you think of a super creamy and stinky tuna casserole? Or maybe you associate it with “leftover night” from your childhood where all the previous days leftovers were thrown together and baked in the oven, to try to create a new dish.

Well, forget everything you thought up until now because casseroles, my friends, are your weeknight dinner saviors! A big pan of vegetables, grains, and proteins is a healthy meal that can be made on the weekend and then portioned out for easy grab-and-go lunches or re-heated for quick weeknight dinners. One of my favourites is an updated version of the classic comfort dish, mac and cheese.

Cauliflower and spinach add lots of delicious veggie flavour to this dish, and a sauce made of Greek yogurt, milk, and cheese, makes it easier and lighter than the traditional butter and flour white sauce. Simply pair with a green salad and you’re good to go.

Mac and cheese pre-baking. I was tempted to just eat it like this…also a delicious option!

Cauliflower and Spinach Mac and Cheese

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients

  • 1 box whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 head cauliflower (roughly chopped)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (sliced)
  • 3 slices multigrain bread (torn into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups extra sharp white cheddar (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add macaroni. During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time, add the cauliflower. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, pulse bread in the food processor until crumbs form. Add parsley, 1 tbsp oil, cheese, salt and pepper and pulse until combined. Set aside.
3. Heat the pasta pot over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Saute onion until soft and season with salt and pepper.
4. Add pasta, cauliflower, spinach, yogurt, milk, cheese, and dijon mustard to pot and mix to combine. Spread in a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with breadcrumb mixture.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is brown and pasta is bubbly and hot.

Cauliflower mac served up with a side of raw kale salad

So break out your tupperware, bake up this casserole, and then thank me that you now have lunches or dinners prepped for the busy week ahead.

Dara

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