This creamy, stovetop-style mac and cheese is made in only one pot and bulked up with one of Mona Dolgov’s healthy hacks—adding cauliflower alongside the pasta to ensure a serious healthy portion, without compromising taste.

The sauce is packed with sharp cheddar cheese and a hint of parmesan for a more complex flavor while using less. Dolgov uses a plant-based bean pasta, which creates a meal high in protein and fiber.

Learn more about Dolgov’s cooking philosophy in this interview.

Macaroni and Cheese by Mona Dolgov

Active prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Serves 2, but can easily be doubled for a family meal.


  • 4 ounces chickpea or lentil rotini
  • 12 ounces frozen cauliflower florets
  • 1 ½ tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium pot, boil rotini according to the package directions.
  2. Place frozen cauliflower in a colander and drain the cooked pasta over top to let the boiling water run over the cauliflower. Toss cauliflower with the hot pasta and let sit in colander as you prepare the sauce.
  3. Whisk arrowroot starch into milk and add to the empty pasta pot over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a simmer and let cook 1 minute to thicken.
  4. Stir pasta and cauliflower into the thickened milk and bring back to a simmer, letting cook just until cauliflower is hot throughout, about 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and ground mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Calories per serving: 470
Fat: 16 grams
Net carbs: 47 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Sugars: 9.5 grams
Protein: 29 grams

Find Dolgov’s recipe for fudgy chocolate chip avocado cookies here.