Lightened-Up Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add macaroni and cauliflower.  Reserve a 1/2 cup of the water then drain macaroni and cauliflower.  In a separate bowl, combine Italian breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley together and set aside.

Place cheddar, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper in the already heated pot you just used and mix in the macaroni and cauliflower.  Stir until well-combined and cheese is completely melted.  Add reserved water.

Place in 8 greased ramekins (or a 9x13 baking dish) and top with bread crumb mixture.  Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until bubbling and the crumbs are browned.  Enjoy!