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A bowl of food, with Cauliflower and Cheese

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower mac and cheese is extra cheesy and melty! This tastes so much like the real deal that I bet you won’t even miss the carbs. 

cauliflower mac and cheese recipe

Truth time: Cauliflower is not potatoes. It’s not rice. It’s not pasta. It’s not pizza. 

I know that. I do.

It’s just that, when done right, it can be a really good sub for those things! Not everyone is going to love the cauliflower recipes, but if you’re on the fence about them, I highly encourage you to keep trying new versions! Because I am here to tell you that a really well done cauliflower recipe is gold.

This cauliflower mac and cheese recipe? It’s one of those really well done recipes and you are going. to. love. it.

This is NOT just your typical cauliflower drizzled with cheese sauce.

The first time I made this my daughter was helping cook dinner and she got really huffy about the cauliflower for mac swap. She insisted that she wasn’t going to like it. She complained right up until I made her try a bite.

You guys, the kid RAVED about this cauliflower mac and cheese. She said that it’s the ‘perfect amount of cheese’ and the ‘perfect blend of cheese’ and that it ‘tastes like really good mac and cheese.’ <— Those are all her words! She’s turning into quite the little foodie. And I totally agree with her. 

Let’s do this, shall we? 

low carb cauliflower mac and cheese on white plate

How to make this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe: 

We’re going to keep it extra simple, because we’re all busy and no one has time to spend hours whipping up a single side dish for dinner on a busy weeknight. 

This is a stove top cauliflower mac and cheese, so it’s literally ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes and that includes the time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil. 

So, bring some water to a boil over high heat. 

chopped cauliflower in colander

Chop up some cauliflower into macaroni sized pieces. The smaller size of the pieces is a big key to this recipe, so please don’t leave huge chunks.

I usually start with a bag of fresh cauliflower florets instead of a whole head, just because it’s easier and I’m all about a short cut. For the best taste and texture, I don’t recommend frozen cauliflower for this recipe.

Toss your cauliflower pieces into the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. 

Drain away the water and return the cauliflower to the hot pan over low heat. Add in some heavy cream, cream cheese, cheddar, monterey jack, ground mustard, and salt and pepper.

cheesy cauliflower in white pan

Stir this all together until the cheese has melted and everything is well combined, gooey, and irresistible. 

The second key factor in this recipe that differentiates it from your usual steamed cauliflower with a drizzle of cheese sauce to cauliflower mac and cheese is the fact that every little bite is covered in the cheese sauce, just like it would be if this were actual mac and cheese.

low carb mac and cheese on white plate

Is cauliflower mac and cheese good? 

If you like cauliflower even a little bit, I imagine you’ll LOVE this recipe.

Some people really hate cauliflower and if that’s you, you might not like this recipe.

The cheese really hides the cauliflower though and the texture is a bit softer since it’s boiled, so I would recommend trying this.  It’s truly one of our favorites and we think it tastes amazing.

low carb cauliflower on white plate

Is cauliflower mac and cheese keto? 

Yes, it sure is! Check the recipe card below for the macros. 

What are some other cauliflower recipe to try? 

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole: This one has all the good stuff from bacon to cheddar to green onions!

Cauliflower Potato Salad: Zero potatoes but it tastes like the real deal!

Broccoli Cauliflower Soup: This one is a favorite for lunch!

Cauliflower Fried Rice: No need for take out!

keto cauliflower recipe with cheese

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A bowl of food, with Cauliflower and Cheese

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Extra creamy and cheesy cauliflower mac and cheese! This one is both kid friendly and keto friendly!

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cauliflower, chopped into macaroni sized pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower pieces and boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and return the cauliflower to the pot over low heat.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well until the cheese has melted fully, about 3 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

Notes

Use whatever blend of cheeses you prefer in your mac and cheese.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 384mgCarbohydrates: 7gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

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116 thoughts on “Cauliflower Mac and Cheese”

  1. Made this last night with slight modifications for the types of cheese I had on hand. it was surprisingly good. I agree that keeping the stem parts of the cauliflower heads helped with creating a pasta-like consistency. My daughter was visiting so I made a batch of this (for us low-carb folks) and one with bowtie pasta for her. I took a tiny taste of hers and it was delicious, but I preferred the cauliflower one! Thanks for sharing. (Made your crispy chicken drumsticks, too. They also were delish.) I’m adding both recipes to my “Tried it. Loved it.” board on Pinterest. thanks again!

    1. Karly Campbell

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Kim! And it beat pasta?? That’s quite a compliment. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing and pinning!

  2. Yvette Kelly-Fields

    Unbelievable! Simply unbelievable!!! I’m going make more of this going forward. This is a perfect replacement for a pasta based macaroni and cheese!

      1. Its been close to a year – any ideas if it freezes well? I love Mac & Cheese, but my wife hates it, difficult to justify cooking up a batch if I’d be tossing any leftovers..

        1. Karly Campbell

          No, sorry…it makes the perfect amount for our family and I never have leftovers to test it out on.

  3. EveryDayImKeto

    This is so good. So SO GOOD!! Thank you so much for creating this. Definitely adding it to our rotation
    HIGHLY recommend. We used a blend of white cheddar and regular cheddar and it is absolutely delicious

  4. We’re seniors. must watch our sugar.so I made this cauliflower( mac&cheese). It’s a keeper. Thank you

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Morgan! We didn’t measure by volume – just divided into 6 equal portions.

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Isabelle! This should last in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat fine in the microwave.

  5. Question: I chopped a head of cauliflower, but it doesn’t look like very much . How many cups should I have?

  6. Valerie Jones

    I just made this and the consistency is more like mashed potatoes. Im’ thinking I cut the flowers too small and they cooked too much. What do you think?

    1. Karly Campbell

      My guess is they were cooked too long, so when you stirred them they mashed. 🙂

      1. Carilyn Frost

        I only boil them for 3 minutes, and I keep the florets pretty big. Don’t chop them like you do for cauliflower rice. When I use the bagged stuff, I only break up the really large pieces-about half the bag goes in as is

  7. I’m on keto diet since 4 days and I decided to give this a try, honestly, as soon as I go back to my normal diet I will never use pasta in mac and cheese, the cauliflower turned to be amazing substitute, I’m now eating my dish with a full joy and big smile, the best mac and cheese I’ve ever taste.

  8. I used a bag of cauliflower from the Walmart produce section. I always use a head of cauliflower, but this was all they had at the store. I was concerned because the bag looked to be full of chopped up stems, which is not my favorite part of cauliflower. I was pleasantly surprised. I used this recipe and it turned out great and I think the stems made it much less grainy tasting which made it much closer to real Mac and cheese. Just an oops to share that people might like!

    1. Karly Campbell

      That’s what I always use as well, but hadn’t really connected that it was probably the stems in the bag! I do think that part of the cauliflower makes it more rice or pasta like. 🙂

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