Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese may not be the healthiest way to eat cauliflower, but it certainly is worth the risk. Creamy, cheesy, and indulgent faux macaroni and cheese.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a white casserole dish.

Even the pickiest kid will like this low-carb keto mac and cheese. And the reluctant adult not on a keto diet (my husband) will request this side dish on a regular basis. This recipe even fits a gluten-free diet!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - Low carb, keto, creamy, cheesy and decadent! You don't need the pasta!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Video

Why You’ll Love This

  • The classic rich, creamy flavor of regular mac and cheese.
  • Ready in 30 minutes!
  • Easy and kid friendly.
  • Low carb and keto.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Fresh cauliflower – Fresh is best for this cauliflower mac n cheese recipe. You can use frozen, make sure some of the florets are small. Also, be sure to drain them well. Frozen tends to hold more water and will make the sauce runny.
  • Heavy cream and Cream cheese – These make it creamy, smooth, and rich.
  • Sharp cheddar – Fresh shredded. Pre-shredded cheese has cellulose to prevent it from clumping. The coating prevents it from melting properly and can make the sauce grainy.
  • Dijon mustard – Adds a little bright, and tangy flavor.
  • SeasoningsGarlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Steamed cauliflower florets in an oval white casserole dish.

How to Make Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Chop the cauliflower into bite-size pieces, and boil them for about 5 minutes.

Drain very well on paper towels, and place back into the hot pot.

This will help dry up some of the moisture remaining.

Place the cauliflower in a baking dish.

Unbaked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese stopped with shredded cheddar cheese.

How to Make the Cheese Sauce

Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk just until the cheese melts about 1 to 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Pour evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and bake.


  • Switch up the cheese for different flavor options. Use easy melting cheese such as gruyere, mozzarella, pepper jack, Monterrey Jack, or Gouda.
  • Toss in a little parmesan to bump up the flavor.
  • Roast the cauliflower in the oven first then proceed with the cauliflower mac and cheese recipe.
  • If you like a topping on macaroni and cheese, sprinkle some crushed pork rinds over the top. You could even mix the pork rinds with a little melted butter.
  • Make it a meal and toss in some cooked chopped chicken, turkey, ham, or even smoked sausage.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in an oval white casserole dish.

Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy without the carb guilt. This is one of those keto recipes you will make over and over again.

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Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven. Add a little extra cream or milk if it’s dry.


We don’t recommend freezing keto cauliflower mac and cheese. The texture of the cauliflower might change a bit and the sauce could separate.
But with that said it can be done. Let it cool to room temperature, place it in a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

More Low Carb Recipes

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a white casserole dish.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe

A low carb, keto, creamy, cheesy, and decadent! dish You don't need the pasta!
4.74 from 38 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 536kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe


  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt.
  • Spray an 8×8 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
  • Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and place back into the hot pot for a few minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.
  • Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic and whisk just until the cheese melts about 1 to 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine.
  • Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool about 5 minutes then serve.


Nutrition facts will depend on what type of ingredients you use. This is just an estimate.
We do our best to give you nutritional information as correct as possible. Please feel free to calculate for yourself.


Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1631IU | Vitamin C: 102mg | Calcium: 506mg | Iron: 1mg

Share With Your Friends And Family!


  1. Oh this is absolutely amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing! I didn’t miss the pasta at all. This was our main dish with a side of grape tomatoes and avocado with Tajin and lime juice. This will be a staple!5 stars

  2. Absolutely delicious, but definitely NOT healthy! All that cheese and cream packs on the calories, but it also packs on the tasty. Mine was a bit soupy, although I still enjoyed it.4 stars

  3. I’ve add cooked ham to this recipe and made it into a full dinner! We Love it! I’ve also tried using pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar to give it a little kick! I come back to this one again and again, and again! I’ve enjoyed reading the comments for ways to reinvent an already family favorite! Can’t wait to try!!5 stars

  4. I made this the other day. My family loved it! I sprinkled some bacon crumbles on the top. I will be making it again.

  5. Has anyone made this ahead yet and then Reheated later? I’m wondering if this might be a good side dish camping.

    1. I made it ahead then popped it in oven when we were ready for dinner, it wasnt as creamy and just tasted different. Ive made this a few times it is one of my favorites, but i wont make it ahead of time again, i was disappointed. Maybe it is kinda how alfredo sauce gets as left overs.

  6. We had this as a side dish with dinner. It’s so good!!! I didn’t have enough cheddar, so I supplemented with grated Parmesan. And I just got a Rosemary grater (like a pepper mill but contains Rosemary) and added some to the top before putting into the oven. The parm and Rosemary definitely added something special. Will make again!5 stars

  7. Delicious! I finished it with crushed pork rinds to mimic the breadcrumbs. My boyfriend and I loved it! Will definitely be regularly making this. Thank you for a delicious side dish. I paired it with keto dry rub ribs. Ultimate comfort food!5 stars

  8. This recipe sounds amazing! Definitely going to give it a try. I’m wondering though-would it be ok to substitute the heavy cream for almond milk? I can do low fat dairy for some reason but seem to have a bit of a lactose sensitivity to heavy creams, half and half, full fat milk, etc.

  9. I’m using cauliflower crumbles/ rice (found in the produce aisle) for my mac and cheese…. will I need to boil it? Or will roasting it in the oven with the cream and cheese sauce suffice for cooking it well enough?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi, Megan! I have never tried this recipe with cauliflower rice. The only thing I would suggest is cooking it half the time of the package instructions and placing it in a towel to remove all the moisture. I hope this works, let us know. I can’t guarantee this will work, sorry.

  10. Just made this. It IS delicious! And it’s so easy to prepare. I could eat the whole dish myself. Taking some over to share with my keto neighbor. Thank you so much for sharing. I love keto!5 stars

  11. I never comment on recipes, but this one deserves a comment. We have three keto adults in the house, plus two non keto kids. The whole family loves this. I use half cheddar and half colby jack, add in cut up kielbasa, and top with crushed pork rinds. Soooo good! Thanks for such a yummy recipe!5 stars

  12. Although this recipe is a low carb substitute for real Mac & cheese it did not feel like a sacrifice at all. I followed the recipe to the letter & it was fantastic. Even my family who usually bucks my “healthy” recipes loved it & went for seconds. Thank you so much.5 stars

  13. This was absolutely delicious. Make sure to add salt. And letting it set a few minutes thickens the sauce. Doubled filled a 9×13 pretty well. We loved this!5 stars

  14. My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe! Delicious way to have cauliflower and it was so easy to make. Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Do you think you could use low fat cheese too bring the fat content down or would it not be as creamy? Can’t wait to try this regardless!

    1. Hi, Nicole. You can certainly try. I find that the consistency of low-fat cheese is very different from regular fat. Please let us know how it comes out.

    1. Hi Rebecca. I can’t say, I’ve never made it ahead of time. Let us know if you try it and how it turns out. Thanks so much for coming by!

  16. I just recently started the Keto WOE and was looking for something quick and easy that would satisfy everyone in the family. This fit the bill perfectly! I used 32 ozs. of frozen cauliflower florets and mild cheddar since hubby doesn’t care for sharp cheddar. I put it in an 8×11 baking dish, finished it under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese was golden and bubbly and served it with crumbled bacon on top (so good). Hubby and daughter went back for seconds. I wanted seconds but was too full after the first serving. It’s very filling but oh, so delicious! The best part….I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow….YAY!! Will be making this often!5 stars

  17. OMG- I am just starting a keto diet and wanted something that would satisfy a carb-oholic craving like mac and cheese. THIS DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I have never been a huge cauliflower fan but this is amazing. Don’t even miss the noodles. I never write reviews, but this is going to be a staple in my new lifestyle. THANK YOU!5 stars

    1. Emily, we are thrilled you like the recipe! Good luck with the new keto life, it can be challenging. Thank you so much for coming by to tell us.

  18. Those a delicious!!! Went way too fast. I put franks red hot on it and was freaking amazing!!! Could do the buffalo flavor too! Do we have to guess the macros?

    1. Lauren, we are working on updating all recipes with nutritional info. We are so happy you enjoyed the recipe and thank you so much for coming by to tell us!

  19. SoooooooGOOD!!! Rich, Creamy, Indulgent ?. You can eat this by itself… So Filling. Thank you. I’m very picky and voila… this works!5 stars

      1. First time commenter on ANY recipe tried. My husband hates cauliflower but we’re keto. I make it a whole meal by adding approximately a lb of ground beef with homemade taco seasoning. He and my 8 year old twins go back for seconds and even thirds every time.5 stars

  20. I have never tried Cauliflower, so my question is, does it have a very powerful taste like broccoli( I love broccoli by the way)? I’m really interested in trying all these Cauliflower recipes…starting with this one!

    1. WHAT??!! Diane, I would say cauliflower is not quite as strong as broccoli. Go for it! Cauliflower is great as a low carb option. Not just this mac and cheese but we love it mashed like potatoes too. I hope you try it and if you do please come back and let us know what you think.

  21. I made this dish tonight; I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out wonderful. Will definitely make again.

  22. Coming from a family that loves pasta, we were skeptical, but definitely a great substitute for “regular mac and cheese’. The only thing we did different was cut out the dijon mustard and use Great Midwest 3-Alarm cheese.

    1. We are so glad you all enjoyed the recipe. Thanks so much for coming by to let us know! The mustard is not as strong as you would think and adds a really nice level of flavor.

    1. I’m sorry but I am not able to put nutritional calculations on the posts yet. We are looking into this option. You could search for one and input the ingredients.

  23. This was really good! My stubborn daughter who doesn’t like to try new things, loved it! I was out of cream cheese so I used sour cream instead. Also added in some broccoli!5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the recipe! Thank you so much for coming by and telling me. I’m going to have to try adding in broccoli. Thanks, Amanda!

        1. Hi Julie, no sorry I’ve never made it ahead. If you try it please let us know how it works for you. Thanks so much for coming by!

        2. I made the loaded cauliflower which has similar ingredients plus a few more. Late last night, I cut out a square that was left over (from about 8 hours earlier and refrigerated), popped it in the microwave, and ate it. I enjoyed it very much! I hope that helps. It’ll probably be better leftover any day compared to make & cheese with pasta.

          Now that I think about it, the loaded cauliflower didn’t have cream though and I was just really trying to think hard for you and then it made me think about how the cream & butter separates when Fettucini Alfredo is reheated. It like breaks down, so now I’m not sure.

      1. I have some frozen cauliflower I would like to use but don’t know how many oz or cups would equal a large head chopped. Any help??

        1. So in general, to answer How much cauliflower in a head it would be about 2 pounds of cauliflower or 3 to 4 cups of florets. This comes to about 1 1/2 cups per pound of cauliflower.

  24. We really enjoyed this meal -super easy and we forgot the dijon but had added green chile-walaa! Thank you for this easy low carb vegetable dish!5 stars

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