buffalo cauliflower baked pasta in casserole dish

Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta (Vegetarian!)

This Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta is packed with veggies and cheese because no one should have to choose between comfort and nourishment.

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So we all remember this Spinach Artichoke Baked Pasta that was inspired by our fave dip, right? Well, this Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta is basically the same idea. Imagine your favorite buffalo dip, but add pasta and a fun vegetarian spin to it. It’s perfectly creamy, spicy, and comforting without sacrificing nourishment. It’s simply the perfect weeknight dinner.

buffalo cauliflower baked pasta in casserole dish

Ingredients for Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta

Pasta: I prefer shells or penne, but use whatever you fancy!

Cauliflower: We’re gonna get it all roasty and toasty and then put some of it in the buffalo sauce for secret veggies and depth of flavor.

Olive Oil, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper: For roasting the cauliflower.

Milk of Choice: I usually use Unsweetened Almond Milk because that’s what I have, but any neutral plant or dairy milk works.

Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt: To create a perfectly creamy and balanced base for the buffalo sauce.

Buffalo Sauce: Frank’s Red Hot is great, but any kind works. Be sure to choose based on your preferred spice level.

Garlic and Garlic Powder: Let’s just be honest here. Garlic powder is so underrate and it adds a special umami situation to most everything. Why choose when you can use both?

Green Onions: For an extra layer of herby, onion flavor.

Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese: To make sure this baked pasta is super cheesy. In a pinch, you could definitely use all mozzarella or all cheddar.

Meal Prep Tips & Tricks

You can totally work ahead to make this meal a bit more seamless when dinner time comes. Here are my best tips:

  • Roast the cauliflower and make the sauce ahead of time. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for a couple days!
  • Cook the pasta ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for a couple days.
  • If you really want to be ambitious, you can completely assemble the entire casserole, cover it with foil, and stick in the fridge for a day or so before baking. I wouldn’t leave it much longer than that, however, as the pasta may become mushy.

I hope you love this Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta! If you give it a try, be sure to leave a rating and review! It encourages others to give it a try and helps me answer any questions or problems you may run into. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram. It makes my day to hear from you!

More Delicious Casseroles

buffalo cauliflower baked pasta in casserole dish with green onion garnish
buffalo cauliflower baked pasta in casserole dish

Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta

This Buffalo Cauliflower Baked Pasta is packed with veggies and cheese because no one should have to choose between comfort and nourishment.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • 9×13 Baking Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 10 oz penne, shells, or other pasta of choice (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 large head cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt (plus more for pasta water)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Buffalo sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup green onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese divided

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and spread out on the baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure no pieces are touching so steam can escape and the cauliflower crisps up nicely. Roast for 25-28 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is roasting, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (or still firm when bitten).
  • Once cauliflower is tender, crisped, and slightly browned at the edges, remove from oven and lower the temperature to 375° F. Add 1 cup of the roasted cauliflower and your milk of choice to the food processor. Process until completely smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add cream cheese, yogurt, Buffalo sauce, garlic, and garlic powder to the puréed cauliflower mixture and process again until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Fold in green onions and quarter cup each mozzarella and cheddar cheese until evenly distributed.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish and add cooked pasta, remaining roasted cauliflower, and blended sauce, stirring until well-combined and evenly distributed. Top the mixture with the remaining mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and the pasta bake is bubbling. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be kept in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword baked pasta, buffalo, buffalo cauliflower, buffalo pasta, game day, gluten free, pasta bake, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This was a great dish for an easy throw in the oven dinner. Italian is my favorite but I get bored with tomato sauce, alfredo, and pesto. I lack the creativity to make an excellent dish like this one I never would have thought of something like this.

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