Go Back

Cauliflower Pepper Jack “Mac” ’n Cheese

This Cauliflower Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese from The Whole Smiths is not only absolutely
mouth-watering delicious but it’s a great way to enjoy the flavors of mac ’n cheese without the
gluten. Not to mention a great way to get your veggies in! And just 5 ingredients. Is there
anything cauliflower can’t do? I think not.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 12 mins
Course: dinner / main, Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese, healthy macaroni and cheese
Servings: 4 -6


  • 1 head cauliflower broken down into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cream or milk
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 4- ounce can green chiles


  • Preheat the oven to 450* F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss the cauliflower, olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt together in a large bowl until the cauliflower is fully coated.
  • Spread the cauliflower onto the parchment lined baking sheet in one even layer and bake it for 20 minutes.
  • Add the onions to the large bowl and stir the vegetables around to coat them with any excess olive oil. If there is not enough remaining olive oil in the bowl simply add an additional 1/2 teaspoon.
  • After 20 minutes, add the onions to the baking sheet with the cauliflower and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat a stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once the pot is hot add the butter. When the butter melts, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until it is fragrant and lightly browned. Add the cream, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
  • Raise the temperature on the stove to medium-high and heat for 2 minutes until the cream starts to bubble.
  • Add 2 cups of cheese into the cream and stir it until it is melted. Add the green chiles and stir to combine.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower and onion to the pot of cheese sauce and lightly toss to coat.
  • Add the cauliflower to a medium sized baking dish and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the shredded pepper jack over top. Don’t stress about the exact size of your baking dish, as long as you can get a solid layer across the bottom it will work. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it is bubbly. Serve immediately.


  • If you’re short on time, steaming your cauliflower will work as well. Just make sure not to over-steam your cauliflower as you’re likely to end up with cauliflower mush ’n cheese.
  • Feel free to replace the pepper jack for standard, regular jack cheese for sensitive palates.
  • This recipe works equally great replacing the cauliflower with broccoli, go ahead and mix it up!
  • Don’t worry too much about whether you use cream or milk or low-fat milk versus full-fat milk.
  • Use what you have on hand and know the higher the fat content of the milk you use, the creamier it will be.