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5 from 2 votes

Bang Bang Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese

Course: vegetarian main
Servings: 6
Author: Susan Pridmore


  • 1 1/2 cups dried farfalle
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets separate them so your florets are small
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese I used Cabot
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • Bang Bang Sauce below
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • parsley

Bang Bang Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Thai chili sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and butter an 8" X 8" baking pan.
  • Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than on the package directions in well salted water. It should be barely al dente. Remove the pasta to a large bowl and add the cauliflower to the boiling water. Cook until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain, retaining 1/2 cup of the pasta-cauliflower water, and add to the bowl of pasta.
  • Melt 1 1/2 Tbsp of the butter in a medium heavy pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute, continuing to whisk. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until thickened, about 2 - 3 minutes, and gradually whisk in the water. When it thickens again, whisk in the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Lower the temperature to low.
  • Whisk together the Bang Bang Sauce and add to the cheese. Add 2 cups of the Bang Bang cheese sauce to the pasta and cauliflower and toss. Add more as desired. I used 2 1/2 cups, but the recipe should make about 3 cups.
  • Combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Melt the remaining butter, mix with Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and scatter over the casserole.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly, and the top is lightly browned.
  • Scatter a little chopped parsley over the top and serve immediately.