Classic macaroni and cheese gets an update with cauliflower puree and rice pasta for a gluten-free comfort food dish. Add a big tossed green or chopped vegetable salad for a balanced plate.  GF

6 servings





  • – 12 ounces brown rice elbow pasta
  • – 3-4 quarts water
  • – 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • – 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • – 4 tablespoons gluten-free bread crumbs
  • – 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • – 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • – ½ cup cottage cheese
  • – 2¾ cups milk
  • – 1 cup chopped onion
  • – 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • – ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • – 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • – 1 generous tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • – 4 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • – 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese


1. Fill a large pot ¾ full with water. Bring water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and toss with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil to prevent sticking.

2. While pasta is cooking, lightly oil a 9-by-13 baking dish.

3. Combine Parmesan, bread crumbs, and remaining 1 teaspoon of oil. Toss with a fork to combine.

4. Pre-heat oven 350°.

5. Steam cauliflower for 12-15 minutes until very soft. Drain and place in the bowl of a food processor. Puree cauliflower with cottage cheese and only ½ cup milk until smooth.

6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until soft but not browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

7. Add 1 more tablespoon olive oil and flour. Cook flour and onion mixture for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Add the remaining milk and stir or whisk until smooth and thickened. Add the mustard and cheeses. Continue to stir or whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Add the cauliflower puree to the pan, and stir to combine.

8. Combine cooked pasta and sauce in a large bowl and stir to coat well. Pour into baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the top of the pasta. Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until the top has a golden crust. Allow to stand for a few minutes, then serve.