Keto cauliflower Mac and Cheese

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4.99 from 68 votes
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This keto cauliflower mac and cheese gives you all the cheesy and hearty goodness of mac and cheese, minus all the carbs and calories! It’s quick to make and even quicker to eat!

keto cauliflower mac and cheese with fresh herbs on top.

Whenever I’m watching my carbs but craving comfort food, low-carb cauliflower mac n cheese is always a fabulous idea. 

Instead of using traditional macaroni noodles, I replaced them with lightly cooked cauliflower. After covering it in a creamy keto cheese sauce, I could barely tell that this was missing the pasta because let’s be real…the best part of mac and cheese is the cheesy sauce. It makes a fabulous vegetable side dish, or you can amp it up and make it a meal on its own!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe highlights
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make cauliflower mac and cheese
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More delicious ways to use cauliflower
  8. Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Recipe Card)

Recipe highlights

  • It’s healthier. Besides the fact that this recipe uses cauliflower, it also uses much less cream and cheese than traditional mac and cheese recipes. It’s also accidentally gluten-free and keto friendly.
  • One dish wonder. Like my cauliflower casserole, everything is baked in one dish so clean up is an absolute breeze.
  • Full of textures and flavors. You get the tender cauliflower florets, creamy sauce, and a generous layer of cheese. It’s rich, savory, and cheesy all at once. 

Want a low carb mac and cheese WITH noodles? Try my keto mac and cheese.

Ingredients needed

This baked cauliflower mac and cheese needs just a handful of ingredients that can be found at any basic grocery store. Here is what you will need: 

  • Cauliflower florets– Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, so they all cook evenly. I always try to choose cauliflowers that have plenty of florets, as they have the best flavor.
  • Cream– Most recipes call for at least two cups of heavy cream but not my one. One cup is plenty to give each bite some delicious, creamy goodness. 
  • Cream cheese– My secret ingredient! Adding a small amount of cream cheese adds an layer of creaminess without being overpowering. 
  • Cheese– I like to use a mix of mozzarella cheese and sharp cheddar cheese for both the stretchy goodness and also full-bodied flavor. Any good melting cheese works and if possible, always shred the cheese by hand! 
  • Dijon mustard– Adds flavor and a lovely subtle tang. 
  • Garlic and Onion powder– Adds some flavor without adding any fresh garlic or onion.
  • Salt and Pepper0 to taste! The amount suggested is a minimum- add more as desired.
  • Butter or olive oil– To grease the baking dish.

How to make cauliflower mac and cheese

What I love about this recipe is that it needs very little prep. Once the cauliflower is cooked, the oven takes care of all the hard work, and you’ll be ready to dig in! 

Step 1- Prep the cauliflower. In a microwave-safe bowl, add your chopped florets and microwave for 5 minutes, until tender and crisp. Transfer your cauliflower into a large baking dish.

Step 2- Make the sauce. In a small saucepan, add your cream and cream cheese and heat on medium. Once the edges of the saucepan begin to bubble, whisk very well, until the softened both are combined. Add your shredded cheese, spices, and Dijon mustard and whisk until combined. 

Step 3- Assemble. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir well, ensuring it is coating all the cauliflower completely. Sprinkle extra cheese on top.

Step 4- Bake. Bake the cauliflower cheese for 15 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese on top has melted.

keto cauliflower mac and cheese.

Recipe tips and variations

  • If you don’t have a microwave, you can boil or roast your cauliflower. Be sure to only cook it until crisp and tender, around 5 minutes. You can also make my air fryer cauliflower, but the cauliflower will be a little more tender and evident throughout the dish. 
  • You can bake the cauliflower mac and cheese longer, especially if you’d prefer a softer texture.
  • If you’d like extra cheesy cauliflower mac and cheese, remove halfway through, add extra shredded cheese on top, and bake a further 10 minutes.
  • For some crunch, add some fun toppings like crispy panko breadcrumbs, diced bacon, crushed pork rind (if keto!), or other cheeses (parmesan cheese is fabulous).
  • Swap out half the cauliflower for other vegetables, like broccoli, mushrooms, or zucchini. 

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to five days. 

To freeze: Store leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to two months.

low carb mac and cheese in a white baking dish.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my cauliflower mac and cheese watery?

If you notice excess liquid in the base of the baking dish or separation of the sauce from the cauliflower, it means that the sauce is not thick enough. You need to let the sauce simmer until it has thickened considerably, with a texture similar to condensed milk or honey. 

How many carbs are in cauliflower mac and cheese?

When made as written, this recipe has just 3 grams of net carbs per serving. 

How do you fix watery cauliflower cheese? 

You can easily fix watery mac and cheese by stirring through some shredded cheese and giving everything a good mix. Add more cheese on top, re-bake until golden, and you should see most of the liquid absorbed.

More delicious ways to use cauliflower

cauliflower mac and cheese recipe.

Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

4.99 from 68 votes
This ketocauliflower mac and cheese gives you all the cheesy and hearty goodness of mac and cheese, minus all the carbs and calories! It's quick to make and even quicker to eat!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 head cauliflower approximately 4 cups, chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt full fat
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, add your chopped cauliflower and microwave for 5 minutes, or until tender. Alternatively, you can boil it. Remove excess liquid and transfer the cauliflower into the baking dish.
  • In a small saucepan, heat up your yogurt with cream cheese on medium heat. Once the edges begin to bubble, quickly whisk together until combined. Add the mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese and whisk for 2-3 minutes, until melted. Remove from the heat.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower, until completely coated. Cover with remaining shredded cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese has melted.

Notes

TO STORE: Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealable container. It will keep well for up to 1 week.
TO FREEZE: Freeze portions in containers to enjoy at a later time. Mac and cheese can be frozen for up to 6 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 18gFat: 15gSodium: 803mgPotassium: 587mgFiber: 5gVitamin A: 634IUVitamin C: 70mgCalcium: 403mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 3g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I enjoy many of your recipes! This is another one that’s good! I wasn’t sure at first because it is cauliflower!! But the cheese sauce is creamy and the texture of the cauliflower is good! I will definitely be putting this into my collection of choices for low carb side dishes! Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this and just totally loved it. I didn’t miss the pasta at all! It came out creamy and cheesy and chock full of cauliflower. It is also something that can be made quickly. Great side dish.

  3. 5 stars
    Yummy i did accidentially use Fago Greek yoghurt it was still fabulous. You can do no wrong my friend.

  4. 5 stars
    Love love love this recipe! My husband is the only one doing Keto, but the whole family enjoys this. I am making it for a big family gathering where no one is on a low carb diet. I think it tastes more like scalloped potatoes than Mac and cheese. Regardless, it’s delicious!

  5. My husband and I LOVE this recipe! We gave up pasta and now we don’t miss regular macaroni and cheese anymore. Who knew cauliflower was so versatile, but we’re learning every day the wonderful possibilities that are out there. Thank you for this recipe! We’ve made it several times and will continue to make it.

  6. 5 stars
    This was very good and so easy to make. Although I knew I was not eating pasta mac n cheese, you do not miss the pasta because of the great flavor. Will make again.

  7. 5 stars
    Very delicious. I halved the recipe so that I would not eat the whole thing myself. I will make this again. I think I forgot to halve the mustard but it was still creamy and delicious. Thank you again for sharing these recipes!