Macaroni and cheese might be the only thing your kids will eat, but now you can enjoy it as an adult, too. My keto mac and cheese is the perfect way to give everyone in your house what they want while sneaking in some veggies without an official protest.
This keto macaroni and cheese recipe uses cauliflower in place of traditional gluten-laden pasta noodles, which are hard to digest and spike an inflammatory response in some people.
If you’ve never tried cauliflower in place of noodles, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the taste. Cauliflower has a very mild flavor that takes on the taste of whatever you’re cooking with. In this case, it tastes like the cheesy goodness found in regular mac and cheese. But you won’t be left feeling bloated or stuck in brain fog after.
Research shows that cauliflower contains unique plant compounds that may reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease and cancer (1). Additionally, it’s weight loss friendly and incredibly easy to add to your diet.
Cheeses prove to be the easiest way to boost protein consumption. They are also a great way to hide veggies for those picky eaters. A high protein intake can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass and improve health.
The spices in this recipe might only be minimal, but they contribute a great deal of flavor to the dish. They also provide a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
This recipe is best enjoyed hot, but you can also freeze a batch and heat it up for a quick snack or bite to eat later. For an even tastier treat, try adding cooked, chopped bacon to the sauce and stir in so that all the cauliflower florets are coated.
How to Make Low Carb Macaroni and Cheese
Divide the cauliflower into florets. Steam for 5 minutes and drain well.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan. Add cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, heavy cream and seasonings. You can add garlic powder or onion powder into this. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes until smooth.
Combine the florets with cheese sauce.
Mix well to coat and transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Serve these roasted cauliflower florets immediately for the best taste. You can also sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan cheese.
More keto cauliflower recipes you can try:
- Mexican Shrimp Avocado Cauliflower Rice Bowl
- Chilli Con Carne with Cauliflower Rice
- Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce
Keto Mac and Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Divide the cauliflower into florets. Steam them for 5 minutes and drain well.
- In a pot, melt a tablespoon of butter. Add cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, heavy and cream. Season with paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Combine cauliflower florets with the sauce. Mix well to coat and transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped fried bacon (optional).
Can you eat macaroni on keto?
Traditional macaroni, made from wheat flour, is NOT suitable for a keto diet due to its high carbohydrate content. You can make keto-friendly macaroni alternatives using cauliflower like my recipe above, or almond flour, coconut flour, or shirataki noodles, which allow you to enjoy a similar dish without breaking your carb limit.
How long to boil cauliflower for mac and cheese?
To boil cauliflower for mac and cheese, cook the florets in boiling water for about 5-7 minutes. The goal is to make them tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork, but not so soft that they lose their structure. This ensures the cauliflower maintains a good texture when mixed with the cheese sauce. Alternatively, you can steam it like I do here.
How to reheat cauliflower mac and cheese
To reheat cauliflower mac and cheese, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the dish in an oven-safe container. Cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out and bake for about 20 minutes, or until it’s heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it’s warm. This helps maintain the creaminess and prevents the dish from drying out.
How to make cauliflower mac and cheese in the air fryer?
To cook cauliflower mac and cheese in the air fryer, first prepare the dish as per my recipe above by steaming the cauliflower, making the creamy cheese sauce, and combining them. Then, transfer the mixture to an air fryer-safe container. Cook it in the air fryer at 360°F (182°C) for about 7-12 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly. This method will give you a crispy top layer while keeping the inside creamy.