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

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  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.

4.74 from 38 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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