This Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is the ultimate vegan comfort food. It’s a perfect recipe when you’re wanting to add a little spice to your dinner. This pasta dish is made healthy by adding lots of cauliflower and spinach – plus it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and totally delicious!
Sometimes I feel like I have glitter running through my veins, other times I realize it’s just hot sauce. I cannot get enough of the stuff.
I’ve loved buffalo sauce ever since my roommate in college (who was from Buffalo) got me throwing hot sauce on everything. It’s become a bit of an obsession of mine.
Anyone else get soooo excited when places give out those little jars of hot sauce? I love it! I think it’s so fancy and I like to keep them in my purse for an emergency.
So how could I not have a Buffalo Mac and Cheese in my repertoire?
A Healthy Dinner (that people won’t realize is healthy)
When I came up with the idea for my Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, I was going to do a straight pasta dish. I usually do that because I always have big salad or side of veggies when I have pasta.
BUT I realized not everyone is eating a salad along with the pasta to get their veggies for the day. That’s when I knew I had to create a healthier version with the veggies already in the dish so that everyone could benefit.
I chose to use cauliflower because it’s healthy (see below) and it really melds well into the casserole because the cauliflower doesn’t have huge overpowering flavor.
Are you eating a piece of pasta or a piece of cauliflower? Who knows, it all tastes like creamy buffalo sauce – yum!
Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Nutrition
I love adding veggies to dishes to add phyonutrients as well as fiber. The veggies add a heartiness to the dish without having to double the pasta.
Cauliflower is high nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium. It’s a brassica and cruciferous vegetable which contain nutrients with anti-cancer properties like sulforaphane. Cauliflower can be considered a heart protective veggie because the fiber in it can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
The other vegetable I added was spinach which also contains vitamin C and iron as well as beta carotene. Get those greens in!
Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
I came up with my Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe one day when I was craving something creamy, spicy, and comforting. It took me a few tries but I think it’s the bees knees.
My husband really enjoys it too (he requests it every other week) so I think it would be a delicious dish for the whole family…well except for the young kiddos because it is a bit spicy. But if your kids can rock the hot sauce, I say serve it up!
For those of your that can’t handle too much spice (which I’m surprised you’re on this recipe but I applaud your interest in buffalo sauce) you can cut down to 1/4 cup of hot sauce and add a few more tablespoons of veggie broth. I can’t say that it will be just as tasty but it might give you that little kick you’re looking for.
If you make my Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. I hope you enjoy it!
Buffalo Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- 8 oz gluten free pasta or regular pasta if you don’t need gf
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into small bite-sized pieces
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large pot, cook the pasta to package directions and with about 3-5 minutes remaining, add in the chopped cauliflower and cook until pasta and cauliflower is is done to you liking.
- While pasta (and cauliflower) cooks, add all the buffalo sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender* and blend until smooth.
- Take a large casserole dish (I used 9×12) and add the spinach. Believe me, me makes less of a struggle to add in the spinach first.
- When pasta/cauliflower are ready, add them on top of the spinach and the pour over the creamy buffalo sauce and then mix everything together so the sauce covers the pasta and veggies.
- Put the dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who helps vegans find ways to make mealtimes easier (and healthier).
When she’s not creating new recipes for her blog, you can find Mary Ellen doting on her two shih tzus or exploring the world with her husband.