Jamies 30 minutes cauliflower and macaroni cheese

From Cookipedia

I saw Jamie Oliver make this recently on Jamie's 30 minute meals, though it seems te program was first shown on Channel 4 way back in 2010. We regularly have variations of a similar recipe but using broccoli instead of cauliflower. I thought it would be fun to try it 'Jamies way'. I really liked the idea of the topping he used with the slices of pancetta and breadcrumbs.

I won't be attempting to do the whole meal in 30 minutes - just preheating the oven breaks that one!

You will need a food processor with a grating attachment and a metal blade for this recipe.

I must say, the great tip taken from this recipe was to cook the cauliflower in quarters (leaves 'n all) with the pasta and just mash it when you assemble the dish. Genius, thanks Jamie!

Jamies 30 minutes cauliflower and macaroni cheese
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:898
Ready in:50 minutes
Prep. time:25 minutes
Cook time:25 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:8th March 2013

Best recipe review

Jamie wins again


Love him of loath him, Jamie's ideas always seem to work well, especially the time saving ideas.

Paul R Smith

Cauliflower and macaroni cheese, the ingredients


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

bacon crumble topping

Mise en place

  • Preheat the oven to 220° C (425° F - gas 7), [fan oven 200° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
  • Fill and boil a kettle of water


  1. Using no oil, lay the pancetta or bacon out in the base of an oven-proof baking tray
  2. Place in the middle of the preheated oven for about 6 minutes or until the pancetta is nice and crispy.
  3. Quarter the cauliflower together with the surrounding leaves and pop in a large pan.
  4. Add the pasta to the same pan and fill with boiling water, ensuring the cauliflower is covered. Stir the pan to ensure the macaroni does not start to stick. It's heartening to see that even Jamie manages to get macaroni stuck to the base of the pan!
  5. Add 1.5 teaspoons of sea salt, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  6. If you saw the TV program, Jamie lets it boil over (you know it's boiling then!) and then turns it down to a simmer and rests a wooden spoon under the lid to lift it up and prevent it boiling over again.
  7. Put a metal blade in the food processor and add the crispy pancetta and any of the oil left after the cooking.
  8. Tear the rolls into a few pieces and add those to the pancetta.
  9. Pick the leaves from your chosen herbs and add those.
  10. Season with salt and pepper, add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  11. Blitzt into breadcrumbs.
  12. Once the pasta and cauliflower is cooked to your liking, drain, reserving 400 ml of the water it was cooked in.
  13. Put the tray that the bacon was cooked in n the hob and heat it up.
  14. Using the fat remaining from the bacon, or a little extra olive oil if needed, sauté the crushed garlic with a little black pepper until it is slightly coloured.
  15. Tip the cauliflower and pasta into the baking tray the pancetta was cooked in and roughly mash with a potato masher.
  16. Add the grated cheddar and mix with 420 ml of the cooking liquid.
  17. Stir in the creme fraiche and mix everything really well to make a gorgeous sauce.
  18. Tip the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the pasta and top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  19. Place in the top of the oven, lay a sheet of tin-foil over the top to prevent it burning and bake for about 15 minutes or until nice and golden.

Serving suggestions

Serve with a green salad.


Use bacon instead of pancetta, though you will probably need to increase the cooking time because it's quite a bit thicker than pancetta and we want it to be crispy for this dish.

Chef's notes

I've increased the original 400 ml of liquid to 420 ml as I found it a little on the dry side. I would also lay a sheet of tin-foil over the breadcrumbs on the final bake as ours burnt a little.

Follow the RSPCA Think Pig Checklist to make sure that your pork has come from pigs that have been reared to higher welfare standards.

See also

Browse Cookipedia's recipes with Pinterest

Almost all of Cookipedia's recipe pictures have now been uploaded to Pinterest which is a very convenient way to browse through them, all in one huge board, or by individual categories. If you're a Pinterest user you'll find this feature useful.

#pancetta #cauliflower #pasta #oliveoil #bacon #macaroni #foodprocessor #grated #cremefraiche #breadcrumbs #jamies30minutescauliflowerandmacaronicheese