Keto Mac and Cheese

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Creamy, ultra cheesy, and super indulgent Keto Mac and Cheese prepared with cauliflower, bacon, and cheddar cheese! Just because you’re on a Low Carb or Keto diet, it doesn’t mean you should forget about your favorite childhood meal. 

cauliflower mac and cheese in a baking dish

THE BEST KETO MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE

If you’ve been missing your favorite pasta dinners, I have got one delicious and healthy solution for you! It’s this really easy cauliflower mac and cheese casserole. From start to finish, you can make it in about 30 minutes, and, I promise you, it’s delicious! 

scooping out keto mac and cheese

I know, I really do know that cauliflower IS NOT macaroni, nor potatoes, nor rice, but it’s a really good substitute for all those things. Have you tried my Loaded Mashed Cauliflower? Or my Chicken and Cauliflower Rice? DO it! You’ll see that cauliflower can save the day for those trying to cut down on carbs.

Having said that, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is also a rich and creamy comfort food without the added carbs. It can stand alone, served as a main dish, or serve it with Roast Chicken or Pulled Pork.

making cheese sauce in a saucepan

HOW TO MAKE KETO MAC AND CHEESE

Keto Mac and Cheese is perfect for anyone with a macaroni cheese craving that can’t eat real macaroni. I know! 😭 😭 BUT, tender cauliflower and crispy bacon and a suuuper creamy cheese sauce can help. Hear me out:

  1. First, you want to break up a head of cauliflower into florets and add those to boiling water; cook, covered, for about 8 minutes, or until tender. 
  2. Drain cauliflower in a colander and set aside.
  3. Add milk (or cream) and softened cream cheese to a saucepan – gently whisk until the cream cheese is completely melted. I use the same saucepan, or pot, for boiling the cauliflower and for making the sauce. Less pots and pans to wash. 🤷‍♀️ 
  4. Stir in some garlic powder, chili powder, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Just add whatever other herbs and spices that you like.
  5. Whisk in shredded cheddar cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. You can also use different cheeses; Gruyere, Gouda, Monterey Jack, etc… But, whatever cheese you choose, make sure it is shredded because, it needs to quickly melt into the cream sauce. 
  6. Once the sauce is smooth, stir in the drained cauliflower; gently stir around so that the cauliflower is covered with the cheese sauce.
  7. Transfer cauliflower to a 9×13 baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. I also like to add a topping of pork rind panko crumbs for a nice crunch. 
  8. While that bakes, dice up few slices of bacon and fry until crispy.
  9. Remove casserole from oven, top with prepared bacon, and serve. 

Richly flavored and utterly delicious, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is thick and creamy without any use of flour so it’s also gluten free! 🙌Basically, what I’m trying to say is NOT to swear off comfort food just because of a diet. 😊 

cauliflower and cheese topped with pork rinds crumbs

IS CHEESE KETO-FRIENDLY?

YES! Thank goodness. 🙏 BUT, always remember this; “in moderation”. Yes, cheese is totally acceptable on a low carb and Keto diet, but don’t add it to every meal. Cheese still has calories, and too much cheese equals too many calories, and that’s not going to help with losing weight. 

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH CAULIFLOWER MAC AND CHEESE?

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS

  • Store completely cooled Keto Mac and Cheese in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheat in microwave.

Keto Macaroni and Cheese in baking dish

MORE CAULIFLOWER RECIPES TO TRY

ENJOY!

TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
5 from 16 votes
cauliflower mac and cheese in a baking dish
Keto Mac and Cheese
24
24
24
17
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Creamy, ultra cheesy, and super indulgent Keto Mac and Cheese prepared with cauliflower, bacon, and cheddar cheese! 

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 serves
Calories: 605 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, (you can also use heavy whipping cream)
  • 3 ounces softened cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, diced and cooked to a desired crispiness
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
FOR THE TOPPING (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Place 1 inch of water in a large pot or large saucepan with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

  3. Add cauliflower florets to boiling water and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, or until tender crisp.

  4. Drain cauliflower in colander and set aside.
  5. Butter a 9x13 baking dish; set aside.
  6. Pour milk in the same pot that you used for the cauliflower, and set over medium heat.
  7. Add the cream cheese to the milk and whisk until cream cheese is completely melted.
  8. Stir in dried parsley, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  9. Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese; gently whisk until cheeses have completely melted.
  10. Add the cauliflower florets back into the pot, and using a large spoon, gently stir around until everything is covered in cheese sauce.
  11. Transfer cauliflower mixture to previously prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and set aside.
  12. In a small bowl combine pork rinds crumbs, parmesan, and melted butter; mix and stir until well combined.
  13. Sprinkle pork rinds mixture in an even layer over the cauliflower.
  14. Bake, uncovered, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
  15. In the meantime, dice the bacon and fry to a desired crispness.
  16. Remove Cauliflower Mac and Cheese casserole from oven.

  17. Garnish with prepared bacon and fresh parsley.
  18. Serve.
Recipe Notes

NET CARBS: 10g

 

  • FREESTYLE POINTS: 17
  • Use fat free shredded cheeses, fat free cream cheese, regular panko crumbs, turkey bacon, and fat free milk to reduce points down to 6
Nutrition Facts
Keto Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 605 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 27g135%
Cholesterol 139mg46%
Sodium 961mg40%
Potassium 649mg19%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 1331IU27%
Vitamin C 69mg84%
Calcium 722mg72%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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30 Responses
  1. Joan

    Wonderful recipe but I was wondering the same thing as Israel asked above. “Are your nutrition facts for the entire casserole or per serving? There is no serving size indicated and the totals seem really high so I’m guessing it’s the entire recipe.”
    Thanks again!!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi! 👋
      The nutrition facts are in fact broken down per 1 serving. At the top of the recipe card it states that this recipe serves 4 people, but you can even serve up to 8 when used as a side dish. However, this is a Keto-friendly recipe and those nutritional values reflect exactly that because the ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. It involves reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat.

    2. Cindy W

      So I decided to BBQ the cauliflower so as to not heat up the house during a heat wave, but resulted in not “wet” cauliflower and some amazing extra flavour!. I also used the ready made bacon bits to save a step and helped.

  2. Bonn

    Hi! This recipe sounds great and I look forward to making. After reading Drew’s comments about being runny, I was wondering would be okay to cook the cauliflower in a fry pan until tender vs boiling? My thoughts are the cauliflower would be crispier with more nutritional value. Do you think this would work for this dish? Thanks!

      1. Angela

        I tried this today. I was a little worried it would be mushy and/or bland. It wasn’t! I was careful not to overcook the cauliflower. It was so flavorful and filling. Loved it! Kids loved it. Mine had the perfect consistency. Not runny at all. I read earlier comments and made sure to drain the cooked cauliflower completely first. I will be adding this to our rotation. Thank you for this wonderful comfort food recipe. Yum

  3. Katy

    I love this recipe so much. I was just wondering how much one serving of it is equivalent to? (in grams or cups or whatever). Thanks!

  4. Robyn Wilson

    This is an awesome recipe for mac and cheese. I’m following a Keto diet and was short on my protein macro one day so I added albacore tuna to the leftovers, and it tasted amazing. It reminded me of my grandma’s tuna casserole which I loved as a child.

      1. Angela

        I tried this today. I was a little worried it would be mushy and/or bland. It wasn’t! I was careful not to overcook the cauliflower. It was so flavorful and filling. Loved it! Kids loved it. Mine had the perfect consistency. Not runny at all. I read earlier comments and made sure to drain the cooked cauliflower completely first. I will be adding this to our rotation. Thank you for this wonderful comfort food recipe. Yum

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      Happy you enjoyed it! 🙂 Thank you!
      Cauliflower is a veg with high water content, so if it wasn’t drained properly, or for long enough, that might have resulted in a runny/watery casserole. Also, waiting to cut into the casserole several minutes after baking will prevent it from becoming watery or soggy. I hope this helps. 😊

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      No, this doesn’t freeze well because cream/milk-based casseroles will sometimes curdle when thawed and reheated.

  5. Allyson Zea

    This looks so amazing, I literally just sent your recipe to everyone I know who is doing keto! I’m going to try it and I’m not even doing keto!

    1. Israel Schleiss

      Are your nutrition facts for the entire casserole or per serving? There is no serving size indicated and the totals seem really high so I’m guessing it’s the entire recipe.

  6. Krissy Allori

    Mac and cheese is my all time favorite food. I’m glad I can still have it on my new healthier eating program. It’s also quite delicious.

  7. Trang

    This is a wonderful way to sneak in veggies for my son. Plus, my husband is diabetic so pasta is so bad for him. Such a great dish that will accommodate everyone in my family (and approved by all)!

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Katerina
I'm a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!
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