Photo of 4-cheese mac and cheese by WW

4-cheese mac and cheese

Total Time
1 hr 15 min
20 min
45 min
This creamy version of bread-crumb-topped macaroni and cheese uses pureed carrots and cauliflower to lighten up the cheese sauce.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s)

Salted butter

1 tsp

Panko breadcrumbs


Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2 Tbsp


1 head(s), medium, about 2 lbs


4 medium, thinly sliced

Uncooked macaroni

½ pound(s)

Low sodium vegetable broth

1 cup(s)

Reduced fat cream cheese (neufchâtel)

¼ cup(s)

Reduced fat cheddar cheese

½ cup(s), shredded, sharp variety

Gruyère cheese

¼ cup(s), shredded

Dijon mustard

1½ tsp

Table salt

1 tsp

Hot pepper sauce

¼ tsp


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray shallow 2½-quart baking dish with nonstick spray. (Or use 8 small gratin dishes and decrease baking time to about 15 minutes.)
  2. Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring often, until toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to small bowl to cool. Stir in pecorino.
  3. Bring large saucepan of salted water to boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Cut 3 cups small florets from cauliflower and set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower (including stem) into 2-inch pieces.
  5. Add 2-inch cauliflower pieces and carrots to saucepan and cook until very tender, 10–12 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower and carrots to blender.
  6. Add macaroni to saucepan and cook half the time package directs, adding reserved cauliflower florets during last 1 minute of cooking time. Drain macaroni mixture and return to saucepan.
  7. Meanwhile, add broth, cream cheese, ¼ cup Cheddar, Gruyère, mustard, salt, and pepper sauce to blender with vegetables and puree. Add puree to macaroni mixture and stir to coat.
  8. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Cheddar, then with panko mixture. Bake until top is golden brown, 25–30 minutes.
  9. Serving size: 1 cup