Cauliflower-Bacon Shells and Cheese

Cauliflower florets add a healthy punch to this one-pot dinner flavored with crispy bacon and a velvety two-cheese sauce.

Cauliflower-Bacon Shells and Cheese in bowls
Photo: Brie Passano
Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Stand Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
8 cups


  • 8 ounce bacon, chopped

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (6 cups)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 ounce dried medium shell pasta

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup milk

  • ½ 8 ounce package cream cheese, cut up

  • 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese (4 oz.)

  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 oz.)

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a 5- to 6-qt. pot cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, leaving about 2 Tbsp. drippings in the pot.

  2. Add cauliflower to pot. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; cook I minute more. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  3. In same pot cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse and drain again. Return pasta and cauliflower to pot and stir in the next five ingredients (through cheddar cheese). Bring to boiling over medium; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 7 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring frequently.

  4. Stir in the bacon (if desired, reserve some bacon for topping), parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

450 Calories
24g Fat
38g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 450
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 797mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 52.3mg 262%
Calcium 308mg 24%
Iron 2.1mg 12%
Potassium 597mg 13%
Folate, total 159.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.7mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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