Pasta Shells With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Pasta Shells With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Image: Jeff Coulson

You'd never know the base of this rich, creamy sauce is actually cauliflower—and your family won't, either. Consider it a more nutrient-dense version of traditional mac and cheese.

  • Portion size 4 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: September 2014


  • 6 cups cauliflower florets (about 500 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic halved
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream (35%)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 375 g small shell pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 slices sodium-reduced bacon cooked and chopped


In large saucepan of boiling lightly salted water, cook cauliflower and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, drain. Transfer cauliflower mixture to blender; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add Parmesan cheese, cream, mustard, salt, pepper and reserved cauliflower cooking liquid; puree until smooth.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions, adding peas during last 2 minutes. Reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, drain. Return to pot; stir in cauliflower mixture, lemon juice, bacon and enough of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to coat.

Change it up:
Baked Pasta Shells With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Complete recipe as above. Transfer to lightly greased 12-cup (3 L) casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven until cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes; broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, about 3 minutes.

Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Fibre 8 g
  • Sodium 405 mg
  • Sugars 5 g
  • Protein 23 g
  • Calories 501.0
  • Total fat 9 g
  • Potassium 440 mg
  • Cholesterol 30 mg
  • Saturated fat 4 g
  • Total carbohydrate 82 g


  • Iron 32.0
  • Folate 125.0
  • Calcium 14.0
  • Vitamin A 10.0
  • Vitamin C 113.0
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Pasta Shells With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce