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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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112 thoughts on “Cauliflower Mac and Cheese”

  1. Not sure what I did… but the cheese & the cream separated and it was runny. I followed the recipe exactly :-/

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Carrie! It’s hard to say what could have happened. I make this recipe regularly and haven’t had that issue. My guess is that the heat was too high, but I can’t say for sure. Sorry it didn’t work out for you!

      1. I am thinking that’s what it was, too. Maybe I cooked the cauliflower too long and it brought too much water to the equation. Either way, the flavor was delicious! I will definitely try again! Thank you!!!

  2. Heather Ellen Yamauchi

    Any chance anyone made this without cream cheese? I’ve made it tons before and it’s delicious but I ran out of cream cheese and wanna make it again! Ideas?

    1. Karly Campbell

      I’m not sure it will turn out very thick/creamy without the cream cheese. You could try adding in a bit of sour cream, but that will change the taste of course. 🙂

  3. I think I needed to bill a little longer than five minutes to get my desired texture, but it tasted delicious! I have a very tangy brand of cream cheese and I love the bite in the overall flavor profile. Mine was mixed with cheddar and mozzarella.

  4. This was spectacular! I used all pepper jack cheese and added chopped jalapeño. Made last week and again last night. Thank you.

  5. Prisilla Miller

    Made this tonight. I added some applewood bacon and it was delicious. For those of us that hate vegetables it is perfect! Thank you for sharing.

  6. I roasted the cauliflower for 20 min. It gives it a nice flavor and doesn’t add water

  7. Sharon Zimberoff

    Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, where have you been all my life? I made this today an it was a BIG hit. SOOO delicious.

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Katie! I think you probably could, but I’m generally not a huge fan of reheated cauliflower – I think it tends to get a little funky smelling and I just find that offputting. It’ll also release a bit of water so it won’t be as thick and creamy.

    2. Sharon Zimberoff

      I only have frozen cauliflower florets. Could I use it instead of fresh cauliflower?

  8. I over-cooked my cauliflower and it basically turned to mush… but everyone still loved it. I added a couple punches of smoked paprika and Chipotle pepper powder to add a bit of a personal touch to the dish. I’m making this again with a lb of ground beef and a chopped onion and serving it as an entree.

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Lori! I didn’t measure by volume…just portioned it out into 6 servings.

    2. rachel simpson

      it made 3 cups for me— but when I entered the nutrition info into my tracker the carb count ended up being for 1 cup

  9. Why not make the cheese sauce first and simply cook the cauliflower in it instead of boiling it first?

    1. Karly Campbell

      I’m not sure there would be enough liquid in the cheese sauce to cook the cauliflower. Also, the cauliflower will release liquid as it cooks and that will make the sauce runny.

      1. Well that doesnt seem to make sense to me… either there is too much liquid, not enough liquid or just the right amount. But you can cook cauliflower in a skillet dry and the moisture will evaporate same with cheese sauce. No?

    2. This is how I did it and it came out fine. I let it simmer while I cooked my proteins.

  10. Linette Arnold

    I love that this is stove top instead of baking it in the oven and it sooooo creamy! I didn’t know about the potato starch on the shredded cheese!

    1. Karly Campbell

      It’s minimal, but if you’re doing strict keto, it’s something to avoid. 🙂

  11. I’m wondering how amazing it might be to pop it under the broiler to brown it a bit before serving?

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