A lightened-up mac and cheese that you can eat guilt-free, and it’s the perfect way to sneak in some veggies for your picky-eaters!
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup Panko*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup elbows pasta
2 cups cauliflower florets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup 2% milk, or more, to taste
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Panko and cook, stirring, until browned and toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley; set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Within the last 3 minutes of cooking time, add cauliflower; drain well.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in pasta, cauliflower, sour cream, milk and cheeses, a handful at a time, until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Spread pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 12-15 minutes.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with Panko, if desired.
NOTES *Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.