Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese with Chickpea Chopped Salad

Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese with Chickpea Chopped Salad

By Toby Amidor, MS, RD


This post was sponsored by Nestles Balance Your Plate program who provided me with the ingredients to create the meal.

Frozen meals have a misconception if being laden with calories, saturated fat, and sodium – especially mac ‘n cheese. Many companies, including Stouffer’s, have made over popular dishes which can absolutely fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet.

One of my favorite dishes is mac ‘n cheese, especially now that the winter weather has started to set in. I decided to create a healthy spin on the dish by added caramelized cauliflower to Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese and serve it with a Chickpea Chopped Salad – all which took me 30 minutes total to prep and cook.

The results: A 30-minute dinner that my 14-year old son (Mr. Picky himself!) and my 9-year old daughter devoured, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating together with my kids.


Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese
Serves: 3
Total time: 20 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


½ head cauliflower (about 12 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (20-ounce) Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese




1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Coarsely chop the cauliflower florets and place them in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and black pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Arrange the cauliflower in an even layer on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to cool.
3. While the cauliflower is cooking, follow the cooking instructions on the Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese.
4. Add the cooled cauliflower to a medium bowl and combine with the cooked Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese.


Nutrition Info (per about 1 cup)
Calories: 337; Total Fat: 17 grams; Saturated Fat: 6 grams; Protein: 14 grams: Carbohydrates: 32 grams; Sugar: 6 grams; Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 25 milligrams; Sodium: 731 milligrams




Chickpea Chopped Salad
Serves: 2
Total time: 10 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes


½ hothouse cucumber, chopped
1 plum tomato, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
¼ red onion, chopped
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


1. In a medium bowl add the chopped cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, onion, chickpeas, and parsley. Toss to combine.
2. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss evenly to coat vegetables.


Nutrition Info (per about 1-1/3 cup per serving)
Calories: 136; Total Fat: 6 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 5 grams: Carbohydrates: 18 grams; Sugar:  5 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 309 milligrams
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