Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Low Carb and Keto Friendly!)
Low Carb and Keto Friendly Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is the answer to your diet friendly comfort food craving! Rich, creamy and oh so cheesy, you have to try this tonight!
Cauliflower is a hidden gem vegetable, it has become the go to vegetable to lighten up so many foods. It turns off limit foods into indulgent wonders. Try these incredible favorites again for the first time. Copycat Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup, Creamy Cauliflower Au Gratin with Bacon and Baked Buffalo Cauliflower.
Amazing Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
The Best Mac and Cheese without all the carbs! One bite of this indulgent satisfying dish and you will fall in love. Cauliflower mac and cheese is every dieter’s dream dish come true. You will never miss the noodles. You will never miss the carbs, I promise. My family loved this and I loved sneaking in more vegetables into their diets. It’s kind of like my Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta, full of flavor and vegetables. Having this cauliflower Mac and cheese is a double win!
Whether you are trying to be healthier or not, this is a mac and cheese you have to try. You won’t regret it. Serve this up with a big salad and either this exquisite Air Fryer Chicken Breasts or Perfect Air Fryer Steak with Garlic Herb Butter. And don’t forget you have to have The Best Keto Brownies to finish it off the meal. Of course you can serve this as main dish too. Whatever way you want to serve this, just make it! You will love it!
Baked Mac and Cheese Ingredients
This mac and cheese recipe contains straight forward ingredients that are easy to find and quick to come together. When you buy your cauliflower, remember that you’ll be trimming it so you will want to buy more than 2 pounds to get the right amount for this cauliflower mac and cheese. No skimping on the cauliflower!
- Cauliflower: Look for cauliflower free of brown spots.
- Butter: Butter is best, you need it for the roux.
- Flour: This will thicken the sauce.
- Salt and Pepper: Add more or less to taste.
- Onion and Garlic Powder: Adds flavor.
- Milk: The base of the cheese sauce.
- Cheddar Cheese: For the best flavor use at least medium or sharp cheese.
Making Low Carb and Keto Friendly Mac and Cheese
This cauliflower mac and cheese comes together so easily and then bakes to golden perfection. In about 30-45 minutes you can have dinner on the table. Hot and cheesy
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook: Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower to the boiling water and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Chill: Remove cauliflower and place in a bowl filled with ice water.
- Roux: In a large size saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
- Mix: Whisk in milk, continue to cook over medium/low heat while whisking until thickened.
- Melt: Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese until melted.
- Combine: Mix cauliflower with cheese sauce and add to casserole baking dish.
- Cheese: Top cauliflower with remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake: Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. I broil the top the last 2 minutes.
Tips for the Best Keto Mac and Cheese
This is essentially perfect cauliflower mac and cheese, but there are things that can go wrong, gritty or grainy cheese sauce for example. So here are some tips to make your baked mac and cheese awesome.
- Cheese: Grate your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated in anti clumping agents which prevent it from melting beautifully in your mac and cheese sauce.
- Add Cheese Off Heat: Be sure to add the cheese after you’ve removed the pan from the heat. If you add the cheese when it’s bubbling, it can cause it to break down and become gritty.
- Add it Slowly: Add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time and stir till completely melted then add more. This helps retain a smooth velvety texture to your mac and cheese sauce.
- Bite Sized: Keep your cauliflower the same size for even cooking and in bite sized pieces. It will be easier to eat this incredible mac and cheese.
- Chill: Placing the cauliflower in ice water will stop it from cooking so it doesn’t become too soggy or limp.
- Dry: Make sure the cauliflower dry. You may need to pat them dry with paper towels so you don’t have extra water in the cheese sauce.
Variations for Macaroni and Cheese
This cauliflower mac and cheese is completely customizable, and it will still be spectacular. Here are a few ways!
- Cheese: You are not stuck with just cheddar as the only option, as great as it is. Mix it up with different combinations of cheeses. Monterey Jack, pepper jack, havariti, swiss, guyre, or colby all are fun to include or mix and match.
- Topping: If you like your mac and cheese with a little crunch on top, feel free to add a mixture of melted butter and bread crumbs, french fried onions or panko.
- Add ins: You can mix up the veggies in this cauliflower mac and cheese if you desire. Add in broccoli, zucchini, peppers or mushrooms.
- Meats: Give the mac and cheese some protein with ham, bacon or sausage.
- Roast: You can oven roast the cauliflower instead of boiling it if you prefer. Toss in some olive oil and cook on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or till done to your liking. Roasting it will give the cauliflower a bit of a crunch, so yummy!
Storing and Reheating Baked Mac and Cheese
Cauliflower baked mac and cheese is best eaten the day you make it. Unfortunately it does not freeze well, so I don’t recommend it. You can freeze it but the texture will be grainy and gritty. Not ideal for mac and cheese enthusiasts.
- Store: Leftovers, if you have them, will store tightly covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: One of the best ways to reheat this cauliflower mac and cheese is in the oven. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 min or till heated through. I’m often not that patient however, so if your like me reheat in the microwave till almost heated through. Then finish heating up in the oven for the last 5 minutes to help give it that bubbly crust on top.
- Too Thick: If your mac and cheese sauce has thickened too much, add a little milk to thin it out.
Macaroni and Cheese Loving Recipes
It’s a total comfort food. Mac and cheese has no equal. It’s creamy, decadent and so satisfying. This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese definitely hits the spot, no concerns there. But if you are in need of a mac and cheese with a few more carbs, I have the perfect recipe for you to try.
Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- 32 ounces cauliflower 2 pounds
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded divided
Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower to the boiling water and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes.
Remove cauliflower and place in a bowl filled with ice water.
In a large size saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
Whisk in milk, continue to cook over medium/low heat while whisking until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese until melted.
Mix cauliflower with cheese sauce and add to casserole baking dish.
Top cauliflower with remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. I broil the top the last 2 minutes.