Cauliflower “cheese” pasta

If you’re like me, you’ve almost always got parts of a cauliflower hanging around your fridge by the end of the week. 

I’m the only real fan here, so anytime it gets added to a dish, it’s in small quantities just for me.

And I’m always looking for ways to use it up.

Yesterday I taught an online cooking demo and we made Spicy Korean Cauliflower Wings. I used the leftover cauli to make this for dinner.

It’s my #vegan take on Jamie Oliver’s dish of the same name.

It uses ALL the cauliflower (except that gnarly hard part that holds the green leaves together) to make a rich, creamy “cheese” sauce AND a delicious breadcrumb topping to jazz up a box of spaghetti.

My small child ate THREE helpings. I may have *forgotten* to tell her what’s in the sauce…

Here’s how I made it:

Cauliflower Cheese Pasta (with breadcrumb topping)

Rich, creamy, cheesy and incredibly low-waste, this cauliflower cheese pasta is guaranteed to be a family hit.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: cauliflower, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, pasta, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 loaf stale baguette, torn into pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and divided
  • 1 medium cauliflower, florets and stalk chopped small and outer green leaves separated and kept whole. (Discard the hard core at the bottom of the outer leaves)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain soy milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Make the breadcrumbs and boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Combine the torn bread, 2 garlic cloves, outer green cauliflower leaves and remaining ½ tablespoon oil in a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the 2 remaining garlic cloves, onion, cauliflower florets and stalk, milk, nutritional yeast, ground mustard and nutmeg. Raise the temperature to medium-high and bring to just under a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. While this is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling pot of water.
  • Gently pour the vegetables and milk into the food processor, add the cheese and blitz until smooth. Return to the pan and scoop out the pasta directly from the pot into the pan, including 1-2 ladles of starchy pasta water. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a generous topping of breadcrumbs.
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  1. My fiancé and I have found a local restaurant that has a cauliflower crust. So it is nice to see a recipe for making it at home.

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