Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower, Tuna, and Egyptian Roumy Cheese

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Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower, Tuna, and Egyptian Roumy Cheese

This dish is basically a grown-up version of Tuna Helper. (Despite my mom being the anti-processed food extremist that she was, which I now thank her for, even I tried Tuna Helper as a kid.)

Don’t judge. :)

Not only is this from-scratch version more flavorful (thanks to a combo of sharp white Cheddar and Egyptian Roumi cheeses), but it’s also healthier. Half of the pasta has been replaced with cauliflower, rounding this dish out and making it a full meal in itself. With cheese, milk, and a can of tuna providing most of the protein in this recipe, it’s also a pretty cheap meal!

Egyptian Roumy Cheese

Egyptian Roumy Cheese

This recipe calls for a type of cheese that might be new to you. Egyptian Roumy cheese (also transliterated Roumi, Roomy, Roomi, Romy, and Romi, and also known as Ras) is a hard, crumbly cheese that’s similar to Pecorino Romano, but typically with just a fraction of Pecorino Romano’s price tag (so be sure to snatch it up if you can find it!). It has a pungent, salty flavor and it melts well. If you can’t find Roumy, Pecorino Romano works well as a substitute.

Normally I encourage people to play with a recipe to suit their own tastes, but one thing I would definitely suggest not omitting in this recipe is the 1/2 cup of parsley. In most of my recipes, I add parsley as an afterthought, usually to spruce up the color a bit. Well, in this dish, a bit of green color is absolutely necessary…otherwise, it’s a pretty blah-looking dish. (And even if the taste is amazing, if it looks boring no one will want to eat it.) So be sure you don’t skip the parsley; or for an easy colorful variation, use blanched broccoli instead of the cauliflower.

If you enjoyed Tuna Helper as a kid, I think you’ll love this grown-up rendition; and just an FYI, kids enjoy this grown-up rendition too. :)

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower, Tuna, and Egyptian Roumy Cheese 2

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower, Tuna, and Egyptian Roumy Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower, Tuna, and Egyptian Roumy Cheese


  • 1/2 lb (225 g) small to medium-sized pasta, any kind you like (I used short tubular pasta called Canneroni)
  • 1 (2 lb/900 g) head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets (about 8 cups of florets)
  • 200 g (7 oz) sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 80 g (3 oz) Egyptian Roumy cheese (I used young-ripened), grated (see Note below)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (710 ml) milk (low-fat is fine), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (6 oz/170 g) can tuna in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Butter, to grease the casserole dish


  1. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions; set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water up to a rolling boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until fork-tender, about 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
  3. Toss together the white Cheddar and Egyptian Roumy cheeses in a bowl; measure out 3/4 cup and reserve it for topping.
  4. Add the oil to a medium-large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and rosemary; cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
  5. Whisk in the flour and cook 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk; stir in the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Bring to gentle boil, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat.
  6. Whisk in the cheese (except the reserved 3/4 cup for topping) until smooth. Stir in the pasta, cauliflower, tuna, and parsley. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper as desired.
  7. Preheat the broiler and butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Pour the pasta mixture into the dish and sprinkle the reserved 3/4 cup of cheese on top.
  8. Broil until the cheese melts and serve warm.


Substitute for Egyptian Roumy Cheese: If you can't find Roumy, Pecorino Romano is a great sub.

Freezing: This casserole freezes and re-heats well! I like to thaw it overnight, and then re-heat it in a 350F oven (covered with foil) until warm throughout (about 20 minutes).

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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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