Homemade Tortellini Mac and Cheese with a creamy sauce and topped with riced cauliflower.
Anytime you think about macaroni and cheese do those little blue boxes pop in your mind? It does for me! In fact, it brings me back to when I was living on my own for the first time, which btw, happened to be a whole mile or so from where my parents lived.
But hey, I was an adult in my early twenties paying my own rent, utilities, gas, and such. Whatever few bucks were left would go towards groceries.
Cooking wasn’t my thing back then. I ate whatever was cheap like tuna, Top Ramen and Kraft Mac and cheese (powdered cheese). Talk about convenience and yeah, did I mention CHEAP?!
I continued to add that blue box to my grocery list even after I earned a steady paycheck and could afford different options.
It was a staple in our pantry for a very long time, and when we started a family, our kid’s had too many meals to count with that type of mac and cheese! Sometimes Kraft would shape the pasta out of cute cartoon or movie characters depending on what happened to be popular at the time.
During those early child rearing years I started to cook more. Really cook! I would still use convenience foods (as I do now), but products like the pre-packaged powdered cheese was replaced with real cheese, milk, flour and butter.
Easy. Quick. Real Food!
This mac and cheese dish has a twist to it. Veggies are throughout the casserole. I used spinach and cheese tortellini and instead of topping the casserole with breadcrumbs, I riced some cauliflower and used it as the topping. Next time I think I’ll add the whole head of cauliflower. I loved the veggie topping!
- 1 16 ounce pkg Tortellini fresh, frozen or dried, I used fresh spinach and cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 head cauliflower riced
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 casserole dish with cooking spray or butter and set aside.
- Cook tortellini in boiling water according to packaged directions. Drain and set aside.
- For cauliflower topping, cut cauliflower in pieces and put in a food processor or blender. Pulverize until it resembles rice. Steam until softened or microwave on hight for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until incorporated. Add milk slowly and continue to whisk as it begins to thicken (approximately 5 minutes). Add cheese and stir until melted and sauce is thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in tortellini into cheese sauce and put in prepared casserole dish. Add riced cauliflower to the top of the casserole and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Broil for 1 minute to crisp up the cauliflower topping.
Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.