Classic mac and cheese is a family favorite, and here I’ve improved it with delicious roasted cauliflower, which boosts nutrition and enhances the flavors and texture. The breadcrumbs add a nice crunch, but are optional. Serving this with a salad rounds things out for a satisfying meal.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Place the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and season with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well to coat.
Roast until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
To make the roux, return the large pot to the stovetop over medium heat and melt the butter. While constantly whisking, add the flour and stir vigorously until a smooth paste forms. Add the milk, still constantly stirring.
Add the cheese and whisk until melted. (If the sauce is too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add more cheese.) Pour the pasta back into the pot and stir to coat. Remove from heat.
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and sauté until golden and crisp.
To serve, pour the pasta onto a serving platter (or into individual bowls), add the cauliflower, and top with toasted bread crumbs and parsley. Serve immediately.