Healthy Homemade Mac and Cheese

Here is an adaptation from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook on their Mac and Cheese recipe.

In case you’re not familiar with the book, the idea behind it is to give your picky eaters exactly what they want with hidden fruits and vegetables inside, which go mostly unnoticed due to matching flavors and textures. I highly recommend checking out the book for yourself, plus it has a classic, vintage cookbook look- I like to leave it open on my cookbook stand because it’s useful and cute!


Cauliflower Mac

Serves 2-4 (as main or side)



  • 2 cups elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups of cauliflower florets (quarter head)
  • 2tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2tbsp flour
  • Whole milk
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (best if you shred yourself instead of buying shredding)
Start by breaking the cauliflower into florets, since getting the cauliflower into a puree will take the longest amount of time.
Once you get the florets into a pot to steam, cover and let sit for ten minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Meanwhile, start your macaroni to boil.
Once the cauliflower is tender, throw it into your food processor, blender, or immersion blender and puree it until it resembles an applesauce consistency. You will need to add water to help it reach the right consistency, and I prefer to use the leftover water I used to steam to keep the added nutrients, but any water, or even milk, will work.
Begin a rue by heating the oil or butter over a frying pan and stir in the flour. Slowly add the milk to turn the flour into a sauce. It should resemble brown sugar at first, and with more milk turn into a creamy sauce.
At this point, your macaroni is most likely cooked, so drain it and set it to the side while you add the ricotta and cheddar cheese into the rue, along with your secret cauliflower puree. Feel free to use as much or little puree as you think hides in the sauce for your picky eaters to not notice!

Dinner is served!

You can also purposefully steam extra puree or leave more out of your macaroni if you have a baby starting solids! I’m all for saving time and effort, and cauliflower is an easy and mild baby food okay to start between 4 and 6 months, served warm or cool!

Stays good in the fridge for 3 days, freezer for 3 months

Nestled into a small town just outside of Madison, Kyla is raising her three boys alongside her amazing Hubs while they live with her parents for half of each year. Kyla has been writing for Madison Mom since December 2015, became the Social Media Coordinator in 2018, and began Content Creating for City Mom Collective in 2019. She was born and raised in the Madison area, and kept her roots planted here, with the exception of a short stint at UW Milwaukee while getting her BBA in Marketing and cheerleading on the collegiate team. Kyla chronicles her life and family on Instagram (@kylamariecharles) and advocates for her youngest son who was born with a fluke eye condition that left him with a prosthetic left eye.


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