Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac


You'll barely notice the cauliflower in this comforting skillet pasta--it's pureed and mixed into the creamy cheese sauce.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 servings


  • 3 cups cauliflower florets

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli or rotini pasta

  • 1 cup nonfat milk

  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

  • 4 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon Ground pepper

  • 1 pinch Paprika


  1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, add water to just below the basket and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower to the basket; cover, reduce heat to medium and steam until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender. Add milk, chipotle and adobo sauce; puree until smooth.

  4. Dry the large saucepan. Add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and transparent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add spinach and cook until lightly wilted, 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, carefully add the cauliflower mixture and stir to combine. Stir in salt and mustard. Gradually whisk in Cheddar and mozzarella just until smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  5. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently stir to combine. Garnish with pepper and paprika, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

447 Calories
15g Fat
57g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1 1/4 cups
Calories 447
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 9g 30%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 25g 50%
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Vitamin A 3161IU 63%
Vitamin C 40mg 45%
Folate 139mcg 35%
Sodium 601mg 26%
Calcium 470mg 36%
Iron 4mg 22%
Magnesium 136mg 32%
Potassium 653mg 14%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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