Keto Mac and Cheese

by KetoFocus.com

Keto cauliflower mac and cheese is the perfect alternative to traditional mac & cheese - you can have this gluten free, low carb version on the table in 15 minutes!

Mac and cheese is arguably one of the greatest American comfort foods. But this delicious cauliflower mac and cheese tastes even better, plus it doesn’t have all of the carbs! With this recipe, you can’t even tell it is made with cauliflower instead of macaroni. Perfectly cooked cauliflower florets are married with an incredible cheese sauce made of two cheeses.

Creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese option for those looking for a gluten free, low carb alternative to the traditional mac n cheese. Instead of macaroni noodles, cauliflower is used. Just like loaded cauliflower casserole and mashed cauliflower, this cruciferous vegetable is a popular replacement for noodles and potatoes with those on a keto diet as it is the ultimate comfort food.

a white bowl with orange color mac and cheese in it

 

The cheese sauce on this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe is smooth, velvety and thick. It has two blends of cheeses and one of them isn’t cream cheese (a common cheat to achieving a thick creamy sauce within the keto diet). In this recipe, you won’t have to bother with a thickening agent like cornstarch or xanthan gum because the almond flour, heavy whipping cream and cheeses will thicken the sauce as it cooks.

What does keto mac and cheese taste like?

Keto Cauliflower mac and cheese is thick, creamy, and gooey with cheese. With this recipe, the cauliflower is perfectly cooked and smothered in a delicious cheese sauce to completely cover any cauliflower flavor. So all you will taste is cheesy goodness.

This recipe is super easy to make and uses two of the best types of cheese – gruyere and sharp cheddar cheese.

  • Gruyere cheese is a popular choice for keto cauliflower mac and cheese because of its smooth and creamy texture and sophisticated taste.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – And, of course, to make this cauliflower mac and cheese a truly authentic culinary experience, you must add sharp cheddar cheese to get that iconic yellow color to your cheese sauce.

You can even bake this keto cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. Just follow the instructions on my keto cauliflower gratin recipe.

Keto Mac and Cheese Recipe Video

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Keto Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 oz gruyere cheese, shredded

Keto Mac and Cheese Directions

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holding a spoon of creamy cauliflower mac and cheese

Why cauliflower?

The cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower, has many skeptics. It is known for having an off-putting smell and flavor. Others love it and cauliflower has been a replacement for many high carb favorites like rice, noodles and pizza crust. And if it is prepared right, you can’t even tell the dish has cauliflower in it.

In this macaroni and cheese recipe, we use cauliflower in place of the elbow noodles. But don’t worry, if you are one of those cauliflower haters, you won’t even tell this dish has a vegetable in it! It’s a great way to sneak in some veggies into your kids’ diet too!

When I make keto cauliflower mac and cheese, I get a bag of precut cauliflower florets just for convenience and to eliminate the step of cutting florets. You can save money by buying a whole head of cauliflower and chopping up florets yourself. Another option is to use frozen cauliflower.

Choosing the right cheese

My favorite cheeses to use when making cauliflower mac and cheese are sharp cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese.

Gruyere

Gruyere is a softer cheese and has a rich, nutty flavor. It is creamy and melts well.

Cheddar

The cheddar cheese provides that iconic cheddar flavor in macaroni and cheese and give the dish it’s yellow – orange color. It like using sharp cheddar over mild or medium cheddar as it has a stronger cheddar flavor so that cheddar flavor really comes out in the dish as helps to mask the cauliflower taste.

Other cheeses

Here are some cheese substitutions you can make depending on what you have access to. You can use any combination of cheese. Play with the amounts and types.

  • Medium cheddar
  • Pepper jack
  • Colby jack
  • Monterey jack
  • Fontina
  • Swiss
  • Cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
a bowl of cheesy keto cauliflower mac and cheese topped with thyme

Substitutions & modifications

Besides changing up some of the cheeses used in this keto cauliflower macaroni and cheese recipe, you can substitute some of the ingredients to make the sauce.

  • Almond Flour – Substitute with 1 tablespoon of coconut flour or 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder (these are great substitutions for someone with a nut allergy or sensitivity.
  • Heavy Cream – substitute with a nut milk like almond milk, coconut milk or macadamia nut milk (these are good options for those wishing to lower the calorie count of this mac and cheese). Cream cheese can make an excellent thickener if you don’t wish to use heavy whipping cream or a nut milk.

Storing macaroni and cheese

This comfort food keto side dish can be made up ahead of time.

It’s a good option for those who like to meal prep. Store the cauliflower mac and cheese in refrigerator. The cheese sauce will thicken and harden a bit when it’s cooled but once you reheat the dish either in the microwave or stovetop, the cheese sauce will liquify and be creamy again.

Keto Mac and Cheese: FAQS

How many carbs are in cauliflower mac and cheese?

It depends on the recipe and serving size. Most recipes for cauliflower macaroni and cheese have about 5-7 g net carbs per serving.

How do you keep cauliflower cheese from being watery?

If your cauliflower mac and cheese is watery, it could because you didn't drain the water from your cauliflower. Or you didn't let your sauce cook long enough to thicken.

Why is my cauliflower cheese grainy?

If you let the cheese of your low carb cauliflower mac sauce get too hot, it can cause the cheese to split which gives an oily, grainy consistency.

Nutritional information & Macros

Nutrition Information

Keto Mac and Cheese

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 641
Fat 55.4g
Protein 21.4g
Total Carbs 8.4g
Net Carbs 5g

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17 Comments

  1. I have been on a low carb / high fat diet for about a year now, and the keto mac and cheese was my favorite meal to make when I was in the mood for a pasta side dish. It is quick, easy, and tastes AMAZING!

  2. So excited for this recipe. I am printing and will present for thanksgiving and hopefully my grandkids won’t know the difference.

    1. Just made it. I halved the recipe. Next time a little less milk and a pinch or two more almond flour. Went old school. Used Velveeta cheese and pork rind crumbs on top. Went out to the shop and got my torch and toasted to top. Spot on.

  3. This recipe went really well with some diced ham that was leftover from another meal. I fried the ham to get a light caramelization and then added to the final step of the recipe.

  4. Really liked this recipe. My cheese sauce turned out too think so I thinned it down with more HWC. Next time, I’ll see what the sauce seems like with just 6 oz. of cheese and maybe use almond milk instead of HWC. My cauliflower broke apart some during mixing it with the cheese sauce and that was a good thing. Next time I won’t be concerned about leaving the florets on the big side knowing that they will get smaller during mixing. Also added some more spices – garlic powder, ground mustard, cayenne, ground black pepper – for extra flavor.

  5. This was absolutely delicious and will be in regular rotation for me. I added some cayenne pepper to make it spicy.

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