This keto cauliflower mac and cheese is a great substitute for macaroni & cheese or just as a low carb side dish. The tender cauliflower is baked with 3 different cheeses for a rich and gooey cheesy casserole! Once serving of this keto comfort food has only 3.9g net carbs!
You might also like this low carb cheesy scalloped cauliflower!
Growing up my mother never made those delicious baked macaroni and cheese dishes – those cheesy casseroles with the crunchy topping. So I don’t know why I want to dive face first into them when I’m at a party. But I do.
However I like to eat low carb so that means no traditional macaroni noodles, bread crumbs, wheat flour or and of those gluten products. So necessity being the mother of invention, I came up with this rich and decadent keto cauliflower mac and cheese dish instead.
I used 3 different types of cheese to make a thick and gooey cheese sauce and then baked this cauliflower dish until it was brown and bubbly on top. The tender cauliflower florets are a great replacement for pasta in this dish and the sauce as so much flavor.
I loved it not only because it tasted delicious but because it only has 3.9g net carbs! As a bonus my husband thought it was a great side dish as well. But this was so good I ate it as my dinner!
How many carbs are in cauliflower?
One cup of raw cauliflower has only 5 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber. So the net carb count is only 2 grams! It’s also has many health benefits as well as being high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Check out this article for more low carb vegetables.
Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable that you can use it as a substitute for rice, pasta and potatoes. It doesn’t have much taste on its own but when you can add butter, bacon and cheese, look out! Even if you just make some roasted cauliflower you will be surprised at how much flavor it has.
Cheese sauce ingredients I used.
The simple ingredients I used for this recipe were three different cheeses (sharp cheddar cheese, shredded gouda cheese and cheddar cheese powder), heavy whipping cream, onion powder, garlic powder and heavy cream. If you want you can add a bit of salt and black pepper too but I didn’t think it needed it.
I only used 2 tablespoons of this cheddar cheese powder but it gives lots of color and taste.I also use this to make my nacho zucchini chips and it’s great on pop corn or veggie chips. I’m sure I’ll find many more uses for it. However if you don’t have it or want to buy it you can use grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
How to make keto cheese sauce.
Get out a small pan and heat to medium heat. Add half of the gouda and cheddar cheeses, powdered cheese, heavy cream, onion powder and garlic powder in a small saucepan. Whisk until the cheese has melted and everything is incorporated. This should only take a few minutes.
How to make keto cauliflower mac and cheese.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking or casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Step 1: Chop a head of cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Then place the cauliflower florets in a microwave safe bowl along with a tablespoon or two of water. Cover and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. I like this microwave steamer for dishes like this.
I used fresh cauliflower not frozen cauliflower but if you do use cook according to package directions and make sure to drain any excess water before mixing wit the sauce.
Step 2: While the cauliflower pieces are cooking, make your creamy cheese sauce by combining the ½ of the gouda and cheddar cheese, all of the powdered cheese, cream and spices in a medium saucepan. Whisk until the cheeses are melted.
Step 3: Take the steamed cauliflower out of the microwave and drain any excess water. Place the florets in the casserole dish. Cover with the creamy sauce and mix well to coat.
Step 4: op the cauliflower mixture with remain cheddar and gouda shredded cheese. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. Cooking time may vary so start checking at 30 minutes.
You can garnish with chopped green onions or eve bacon bits if you wish or add some hot pepper flakes if you want a little heat.
When done, let cool for a few minutes before servings. If you really miss breadcrumbs you can try some pork rinds as a crispy topping. I don’t love pork rinds that much and felt this recipe didn’t need that.
Store leftovers of this cauliflower recipe in an airtight container. This dish freezes well so you can also place portions in freezer safe containers for a quick low carb lunch or snack. Please scroll down to view the printable recipe card for this low carb version of macaroni and cheese.
To make this recipe more of a complete meal instead of a side dish.
You can make this cauliflower Mac and cheese into a meal by adding protein in right before baking. Some good items to try are cooked rotisserie chicken, leftover turkey, raw shrimp, cooked ground beef or taco meat, chopped up sausage, etc. I had leftover taco meat and ate some with the leftovers. It was awesome!
I have a similar recipe with buffalo hot sauce and chicken that’s really popular keto recipe. I had leftover taco meat and ate some with the leftovers. It was awesome!
And if you want to take it to the next level add some crispy bacon. Either add the bacon bits on top or sprinkle them throughout the casserole.
Other low carb vegetables to try in this recipe.
While I really like this as a substitute for macaroni and cheese, you can also use different vegetables for a side dish. Just do everything the small but sub in cooked broccoli or Brussel sprouts. Green beans should work too but you don’t want to use a vegetable that contains lots of water such as zucchini. It would just make the whole dish watery.
If traditional macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food for you and you are on a low carb diet, I hope you give this low carb and delicious cauliflower mac and cheese a try. It really is a tasty dish whether or not you are on a keto diet. And it makes the perfect side dish for busy weeknights. Enjoy!
The nutritional information for 1 serving is: 211 calories / 16.2 grams of fat / 6.8 grams of carbohydrates / 2.9 grams of fiber / 9.6 grams of protein = 3.9 grams of net carbs
My friend Angela has a great cauliflower cheese recipe I think you will like too!
- 6 cups raw cauliflower florets
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup gouda cheese, shredded
- 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons Anthony's cheddar cheese powder**
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces.
- Place cauliflower florets in a microwave safe bowl with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, make your cheese sauce. Get out a medium saucepan and heat to medium heat. Then add ½ of the gouda and cheddar cheeses, all of the powdered cheese, heavy cream and spices in a small sauces pan. Whisk until the cheeses are melted and well combined. If you want you can add a bit of salt and black pepper too but I didn't think it needed it.
- Take the cauliflower out of the microwave and drain excess water. and place in a baking dish. Cover with the cheese sauce and mix well to coat. Top with remain cheddar and gouda cheeses and bake for 40 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cooking time may vary so start checking at 30 minutes.
- Let cool a bit before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container. This will also freeze well.
- **Note you can substitute parmesan cheese for the powdered cheddar cheese though it won't be quite the same.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Unsaturated Fat: 0g