This homemade mac and cheese is seriously THE BEST. It is insanely cheesy, creamy, and packed with rich, savoury flavours. Topped off with a batch of crispy roasted cauliflower, it is a meal you can feel good about serving and it will be a smash hit at the dinner table!
Basically we gave regular mac and cheese a glow up by adding a crispy crunchy CAULIFLOWER topping (getting those veggies in wherever we can!)
Not convinced yet? How about this... IT’S A 30 MINUTE MEAL. So print it off, write it down, do whatever you need to do because you are never going to want to forget this recipe, it’s a keeper!
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A few things you will need to make this recipe
Ingredients you’ll need
- Penne Noodles
- Chicken Stock
- Coconut Milk
- Spices; Parsley, Black Pepper, Paprika and Kosher Salt
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Oven Roasted Cauliflower, optional
- Penne - You can substitute any tubular shaped pasta for the penne noodles such as elbow macaroni, rotini, rigatoni, etc. Keep in mind that if you use a different noodle, the cooking time may have to be adjusted by a minute or two.
- Coconut Milk - The coconut milk may be substituted for any other light cream, such as half and half, if desired. I prefer to use coconut milk because it is super creamy and delicious and best of all? It is shelf stable!
- Cheese - Do not use pre shredded cheese for this recipe. You will need to use block cheese that you shred yourself. Pre shredded cheese is coated with cellulose to preserve it and because of that coating it will not melt properly. So it will require a little more elbow grease, but I promise that it is well worth the effort!
- Oven Roasted Cauliflower - I recommend increasing the amount of panko breadcrumbs used in the oven roasted cauliflower recipe to ⅔ cup if preparing for this recipe. Trust me, the more crunchy goodness the better!
How to Prepare
This mac and cheese recipe is SUPER easy to make and best of all it is a “one pot” meal! Oh, and it will be ready and on the table in 30 minutes or less (!!!)
How can this mac and cheese be healthier?
Well, let me start out by saying, this is no health food but let me explain…
The pasta noodles are cooked in the liquid that will become the base of the cheese sauce, which is actually healthier than the typical way of making a homemade mac and cheese. Typically you would make a roux (with butter, flour, and heavy cream) then add that to the already cooked pasta. Nope, not here, we use the natural starch that comes from the noodles during cooking in the base of the sauce so you won’t even notice the missing butter and flour!
Let’s make it!
In a large deep skillet add the penne noodles, chicken stock and coconut milk, stirring to combine.
The coconut milk may be substituted for any milk of your choice. See above for some other suggestions.
Now, place the skillet over medium heat, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Let the noodles cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes until they are al dante. Once the pasta is boiling, you may need to lower the heat if it starts to bubble over.
Once the pasta is al dante, remove the pasta from the heat. DO NOT DRAIN. The liquid that is leftover is what you will use for the base of the cheese sauce!
Next, add the parsley, black pepper, paprika and the salt to the cooked pasta noodles and then stir well to combine.
Add the shredded cheeses, one cup at a time, stirring until all of the cheese has fully melted.
Top the prepared mac and cheese with a whole batch of roasted cauliflower and serve immediately.
Storing the Leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 3-4 days.
To heat leftovers either use a microwave or a fry pan over medium heat.
Stirring until the mac and cheese is fully heated through.
And that is it, a super easy, quick and simple recipe for homemade mac and cheese that is OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious!
More Quick and Easy Recipes
If you have any questions about this recipe, I would be happy to answer them in the comments down below! To get a hold of us, you can shoot us an email or leave a comment down below! We can also be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
- 600 grams Penne Noodles, dry
- 4 cups Chicken Stock
- 400 ml (1 ⅔ cups) Coconut Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley
- 1 ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 ½ cups Sharp White Cheddar, shredded
- 1 ½ cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- 1 full batch of Oven Roasted Cauliflower, optional
- In a large deep skillet add the penne noodles, chicken stock and coconut milk, stir to combine.
- Place the skillet over medium heat, cover and bring to a boil. Let the noodles cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes until al dante. (Once the pasta is boiling, you may need to lower the heat if it starts to bubble over.)
- Once the pasta has reached al dante, remove from the heat. DO NOT DRAIN. The liquid that is leftover is what you will use for the base of the cheese sauce!
- Add the parsley, black pepper, paprika and salt to the cooked pasta noodles, stirring well to combine.
- Add the cheeses, one cup at a time, stirring until all of the cheese has fully melted.
- Top the prepared mac and cheese with a whole batch of roasted cauliflower and serve immediately.
- I recommend increasing the amount of panko breadcrumbs used in the oven roasted cauliflower recipe to ⅔ cup if preparing for this recipe.
- Half and Half Cream may be substituted for the coconut milk, if preferred.