clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Healthy Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (vegan, gluten free)

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner


Gluten free and vegan baked mac and cheese with a healthy cauliflower cheese sauce!



For the mac and cheese sauce:

  • 2 tbsp ghee, butter, or vegan butter
  • 1/2 of a yellow or white onion, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 23 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Plain unsweetened dairy free milk as needed, up to 1/3 cup

For the pasta:

  • 1 lb gluten free spiral or penne pasta (sub regular if gf not necessary)
  • ~1/4 cup cracker crumbs (measure after crushing), I use these
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set out a medium baking dish. 
  2. Start by making the sauce. Heat a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Once hot, add ghee or butter and stir in onions. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in minced garlic and allow to cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in cauliflower.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and pepper to the pot and give everything a good stir. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta to al dente; about 3 minutes less than suggested on box, for me this was 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook! 
  6. When cauliflower is soft, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully add everything from the pot for the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Mix the sauce with the pasta in your baking dish, adding dairy free milk as needed to thin the sauce to desired consistency, up to 1/3 cup. 
  8. Sprinkle crushed crackers over the top and thyme leaves, then bake for 15 minutes. Broil for 1-3 minutes to crisp the crackers, but be careful not to burn. Serve and enjoy!