No pasta, no problem! This easy Keto Mac and Cheese uses cauliflower and three types of cheese to re-create a delicious low carb version of the comfort food classic! Only 6 grams net carbs per serving!
Easy Keto Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese was my go-to snack growing up! I loved ALL kinds of mac & cheese: from the Kraft mac and cheese that I could make myself, to mac and cheese served at restaurants.
I have memories of coming home from school, making a pan of mac & cheese, and eating the whole thing myself! Yes, I did that…LOL. Oh, the days of high school athlete metabolisms am I right?!
Now of course mac and cheese is usually made with wheat-based pasta, so it has tons of carbs. But this keto mac and cheese recipe takes all the good stuff (three types of cheese) and blends it with tender cauliflower to create a low carb comfort food that’s delicious and definitely has the taste of the real deal!
If you’ve been missing mac & cheese, this rich and creamy keto cauliflower mac will satisfy those comfort food cravings!
Why I Love This Recipe:
- An easy side dish that’s ready in less than 45 minutes!
- You can add meat to make it a hearty main dish.
- High in protein, calcium, and good fats, but only 6 grams of net carbs!
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Optional Garnish Ideas
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Sliced green onion
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (for a bit of heat)
Kitchen Tools Used
- 8-inch square casserole dish (this one comes with a lid for easy leftover storage)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
To Prep: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and coat an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Blanch cauliflower florets in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, and set aside.
- In a large pot, combine the shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, and pepper.
- Cook over medium heat; whisk until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour cheese sauce over the blanched cauliflower. Stir gently to mix.
- Scoop the cheesy cauliflower into your prepared baking dish. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- When choosing your cheeses, I recommend buying a block of real cheese and grating your own. Store-bought shredded cheese often contains additives and starches to keep it from sticking together in the package. Always check the labels!
- Top your finished mac and cheese with fresh parsley or green onion for a fresh flavor!
- Blanching the cauliflower makes it tender so when it bakes it will be the perfect texture. Don’t skip this step!
- Love breadcrumbs on your macaroni and cheese? Try using crushed pork rinds instead for that perfect crunch!
- Add crumbled bacon or rotisserie chicken for an extra hearty treat that the meat-lovers in your family will go wild for!
- Mix in a pinch of garlic powder and onion powder for extra richness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cauliflower Keto Friendly?
Cauliflower is a very popular ingredient in keto cooking because it is significantly lower in carbs that traditional pasta. It also is mild in flavor, so it does not compete with other flavors of a dish, rather, it absorbs those flavors. The texture makes it a great substitute for pasta because it is firm enough to hold its shape, but soft enough to have a mouth feel similar to macaroni.
One cup of cauliflower contains about 5 grams total carbs and 3 grams total carbs, compared to around 40 grams of total carbs in the same amount of cooked pasta.
Can You Substitute Low Carb Macaroni Noodles for the Cauliflower?
I wouldn’t recommend directly swapping keto pasta for the cauliflower in this recipe for a few reasons:
- There are quite a few different brands of low carb noodles, made from different ingredients. I have not tested them all personally, so I can’t say how they will hold up, especially during baking. So while it might work, I can’t guarantee it and wouldn’t want you to spend the time and use ingredients if it ends up too soft for your liking.
- I always find that my weight loss slows down if I add more packaged ingredients, even if they are labeled “keto friendly” or “keto diet approved.” Sticking with simple ingredients, such as real cheese and cauliflower is a cleaner way to eat and may help keep you in ketosis better.
- Cauliflower generally contains more nutrition than any type of pasta!
What is the Best Way to Store Leftovers?
Keep any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, scoop into a saucepan with a Tablespoon of milk or cream. Heat slowly, stirring so that the liquid doesn’t go above a simmer. When everything is warmed through and the cheese has melted again, remove from stovetop and enjoy.
Is This Recipe Gluten Free?
Yes, this dish is gluten-free in addition to being keto-friendly! As always, I recommend checking the labels of any packaged ingredients used, to make sure there is no potential for cross-contamination during processing.
Free Printable Copy of Our Keto Mac and Cheese Recipe:
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Keto Mac and Cheese
- 1 8-inch square baking dish
- 1 Saucepan
- 4 cups cauliflower blanched and cut into pieces
- 4 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
- 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded or grated
- Preheat oven to 450°F and coat 8-inch square baking dish with non stick spray.
- Blanch cauliflower in boiling water for 3-4 min, drain, and place into a large heat-safe bowl.
- In a medium saucepan combine cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, cream cheese, heavy cream, and pepper. Whisk over medium heat until melted.
- Pour the cheese mixture over cauliflower and stir until well incorporated. Scoop into your prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Pin our Low Carb Mac and Cheese on Pinterest:
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