Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese: Easy, Creamy, & Delicious!!

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I never realized how amazing Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese could be until I had this! This recipe is super cheesy, creamy, and made without pasta! It is the ultimate comfort food when you’re on the keto diet and very low in carbs!

cauliflower macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish

How to make keto cauliflower mac n’ cheese

If anyone is skeptical about cauliflower in a recipe, I can assure you it is me. When my hairdresser, Paul, shared this recipe with me that he created, I was very skeptical. But this low carb macaroni and cheese recipe is everything! It will not only satisfy your craving for traditional mac and cheese, but it will also go above and beyond your expectations. The cheese sauce is super-rich, creamy, and easy to make. I love enjoying it as a main meal with crispy bacon crumbled on top or better yet, as a keto-friendly side dish!

Below, you’ll find step-by-step pictures with easy tips. Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions in the recipe card.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9 X 13 casserole dish. Wash cauliflower and cut into bite-size florets (so that it resembles the size of mac noodles). Add water to a bowl with cauliflower and microwave then drain completely.

whisking cream cheese sauce in saucepan

Step 2: In a saucepan, add butter, heavy whipping cream, and garlic. Add softened cream cheese and stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined.

cream and cheeses in a sauce pan

Step 3: Add all your cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, and cream cheese stirring constantly reserving 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese for topping.

low carb mac n cheese sauce

Step 4: In a large bowl, toss your steamed cauliflower florets with the cheese sauce so it is thoroughly coated.

keto mac and cheese in a casserole baking dish

Step 5: Pour cauliflower mac and cheese into a baking dish and top with the 1/4 cup reserved cheese, paprika, Italian seasoning, and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

baked keto low carb mac and cheese

Is cauliflower keto-friendly?

Yes! This is why it is such a staple ingredient in keto recipes! It has just 3 grams of net carbs per serving, making it super low carb and great for replacing pasta or noodles in traditional recipes. This recipe is only four net carbs per serving.

Tips for cooking cauliflower:

Cauliflower comes in many different forms, frozen, raw, in steam bags, riced, etc. so HOW you prepare you cauliflower will make a huge difference in this recipe.

You can purchase a whole head of cauliflower if you prefer, which is the cheapest option, then cut it down into small florets. When using raw cauliflower, you have a few different options on how to cook it.

You can:

  • steam it
  • boil it
  • roast it

Roasting the cauliflower will give it a nice added flavor! Just take note that fresh cauliflower is dry, so you will need to add some fat like butter or oil to your cauliflower so browns nicely.

If you boil your florets, whether on the stove or in your microwave, it is important to make sure you let your cauliflower FULLY COOL before adding it to your cheese sauce. This will prevent your sauce from being watery or runny.

The best way to do this is to lay the cooked and drained cauliflower out onto a sheet pan. Then allow the steam to evaporate fully. Once it’s cooled and the steam is gone, you can continue with the recipe.

I find it is easiest to microwave my mini florets for 10 minutes in a bowl of water. This will allow the cauliflower to boil and soften up just enough without taking up too much time!

cauliflower and cheese in a white bowl

How to make a low carb cheese sauce

This keto cheese sauce is easy to whip up and results in a creamy, thick, and decadent sauce. Just be careful not to boil your cheese. This will cause the fat to separate from the cheese affecting the texture. Also, make sure you do not add your cheese to boiling cream. Adding the cheeses while the cream is warm rather than boiling will allow it to melt slowly, creating a creamy and, more importantly, smooth sauce.

Other keto cauliflower mac and cheese add-ins:

  • I love adding crumbled bacon on top! It adds incredible flavor and a nice crunch!
  • If serving this as a meal, you can add shredded, sliced, or diced chicken to your sauce along with the cauliflower. 
  • Diced ham would also be a great addition!
  • Try adding some pork panko to the top to mimic “breadcrumbs.” (Pork panko is crushed pork rinds.)

Frequently asked questions

  1. “Why is my sauce gritty and not smooth”? If your cream was too hot when you added your cheese, it could affect the consistency of the cheese.
  2. “Can I make this ahead of time?” Yes, you can! Just store it in the fridge until you are ready to reheat it. It may take a bit longer to bake since it is colder.
  3. “Can I freeze this?” Yes, but keep in mind that freezing cheeses and cream may affect the consistency and texture of your sauce. I suggest laying a piece of plastic wrap directly over top of your casserole then follow that with tin foil and a lid. Allow it to defrost fully in the fridge overnight before baking then placing it in the oven while it is preheating so that it heats slowly. You may notice that the sauce is a bit grainy.
  4. “Can I use frozen cauliflower?” Yes, however, the texture will be different. Frozen cauliflower has more moisture in it, so it will not have the same “bite” as fresh cauliflower. Make sure not to overcook the cauliflower. You do not want mashed mac n’ cheese!

cauliflower and cheese in a casserole dish

Don’t miss out!

If you aren’t already following my easy keto/low carb recipe page on Facebook, where I post all my new recipes, I’d love for you to join us! Also, make sure to follow me on Pinterest.

More keto cauliflower recipes:

Cheesy Ground Beef & Cauliflower Casserole (Keto)

Low Carb Roasted Cauliflower Recipe w/ Bacon & Cheese

Low-Carb Keto Cauliflower Recipes: That Actually Taste Good

Keto Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

Keto cauliflower mac and cheese recipe:

cauliflower macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish
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4.74 from 68 votes

Keto Cauliflower Mac N Cheese (Rich & Creamy)

I never realized how amazing Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese could be until I had this! This recipe is super cheesy, creamy, and made without pasta! It is the ultimate comfort food when you're on the keto diet and very low in carbs!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Servings: 12
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Kasey Trenum

Ingredients

  • 2 heads fresh cauliflower (approx 8 cups chopped)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9" x 13" casserole dish.
  • Wash cauliflower and cut into bite-size florets (so that it resembles the size of mac noodles).
  • Add 1/4 cup water to a microwave-safe bowl with cauliflower and microwave for 10 minutes, then drain.
  • In a saucepan, add butter, heavy whipping cream, and garlic over medium heat. Add softened cream cheese and stir with a whisk until thoroughly combined and melted.
  • Then, add all of your cheeses stirring constantly reserving ¼ cup of the cheddar cheese for topping. 
  • In a large bowl, toss your cheese mixture with your cauliflower until fully coated in the sauce.
  • Pour it all into a casserole dish.
  • Top with the ¼ cup reserved cheddar cheese, paprika, Italian seasoning, and parsley.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Other macaroni and cheese add-ins:
  • I love adding crumbled bacon on top! It adds incredible flavor and a nice crunch!
  • If serving this as a meal, you can add shredded, sliced, or diced chicken to your sauce along with the cauliflower.
  • Diced ham would also be a great addition!
  • Try adding some pork panko to the top to mimic "breadcrumbs."
Tips:
  • If your cream was too hot when you added your cheese, it could affect the consistency of the cheese.
  • Make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to reheat it. It may just take a bit longer to bake since it is colder.
  • You can freeze this, but keep in mind that freezing cheeses and cream may affect the consistency and texture of your sauce. I suggest laying a piece of plastic wrap directly over top of your casserole then follow that with tin foil and a lid. Allow to defrost fully in the fridge overnight before baking and put in the oven while preheating so that it heats slowly. 
  • You can use frozen cauliflower: however, the texture may be different.

Nutrition

Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1175IU | Vitamin C: 46.4mg | Calcium: 410mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kaseytrenumblogger or tag #kaseytrenumblogger!

macaroni,cauliflower and cheese in a bowl collage image

 

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79 Comments

  1. Looks incredible but I have a tough time with cream cheese. Is there anything I could substitute? Maybe ricotta? Thanks! Or half ricotta half cream cheese?

    1. The number of servings is listed at the top of the recipe card. I divide the recipe evenly by that number.

  2. This is amazing! The best I’ve ever had. I did not have cream cheese so I subbed cottage cheese, left out heavy cream and Italian seasoning. Once prepared I topped with previously cooked chicken tenders. Kasey is an amazing recipe Developer. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this tonight as part of my low-carb Thanksgiving meal. The recipe was fairly easy to follow, inexpensive, and most importantly, it’s delicious! The cheese sauce really masks the cauliflower taste, and anyone eating it wouldn’t miss the pasta. This is a winner (as every recipe I’ve tried on this site is!) and will go into my recipe collection. I love Mac and cheese and knowing that I can eat a low-carb version that is delicious makes my heart happy! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You’ve made my day! I am so glad you enjoyed it and you’ve loved my recipes so far. I appreciate your kind words and that you took the time to rate the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this to accompany smoked ribs and it was a ‘bullseye’! Could have accompanied rotisserie chicken, easily. Fiancé said not ‘mac and cheese’ but he loved the taste, make it again! For 2 of us, I cut recipe in half. 1/2 Recipe made 3 generous servings and he’ll eat the ‘leftover’ tomorrow! Delicious, can’t wait to try Reuben casserole and Philly Cheesesteak casserole! Thanks for the comfort food I can have!
    Meg

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