November 19, 2019

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto, Gluten-Free, and Low Carb)

 This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a gluten-free, keto, and low carb version of everyone’s favorite side dish – macaroni and cheese. While there is nothing quite like the classic mac and cheese, this low carb version is still absolutely delicious.

This easy recipe uses just a few simple ingredients and swaps cauliflower for the pasta. If you are looking for a grain-free or lower carb take on macaroni and cheese, I know you’ll love this recipe!

A Low Carb Version of a Classic: Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I will be the first person to tell you that there is nothing like real deal macaroni and cheese, but sometimes you want the comforting vibe of mac and cheese without the gluten, grains, or the work of making a classic casserole. 

This low carb version of classic macaroni and cheese is simple, easy to make, and absolutely delicious. Instead of macaroni noodles, this recipe calls for tender cauliflower florets to keep the dish entirely gluten and grain-free, as well as keto and low carb. 

Instead of a making a cheese sauce, all you need for this macaroni and cheese is shredded cheddar and just five more ingredients to whip up this simple recipe. Another thing I love about this version of macaroni and cheese is that it makes a smaller batch. This recipe gives you just the right amount for two people, plus a little leftover.

The Simple Ingredients You Need for this Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

This recipe really could not be more simple or easy. All you need are a few easy to find ingredients, that when combined, make for the perfect cheesy cauliflower dish. 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto, Gluten-Free, and Low Carb)

Cauliflower: the obvious ingredient! All you need is one head of cauliflower cut into small to medium florets. 

Salt: this recipe calls for a full tablespoon of salt that you’ll use to season the water that the cauliflower cooks in. It may seem like a lot, but you won’t add any salt to the actual dish, so be sure to use a full tablespoon of salt in the water. 

Cheese: for the ultimate flavor and color, this recipe uses a combination of both sharp white and sharp yellow cheddar. If you don’t love sharp cheddars, feel free to use mild instead.

Sour cream: this ingredient gives the mac and cheese a creamy texture and adds a little tang. 

Green onion: it might not be typical in traditional macaroni and cheese, but the green onion in this dish really takes it to another notch and adds so much flavor. Don’t skip it!

My Favorite Tips For Making This Recipe

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto, Gluten-Free, and Low Carb)

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese is definitely not traditional macaroni and cheese, but it’s still a delicious option.

This is a great recipe to make if you are hosting a dinner and have guests who are gluten or grain free, or following a low carb approach. Everyone will love it and you won’t compromise on flavor.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto, Gluten-Free, and Low Carb)

To ensure that this Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese comes out the absolute best, here are my favorite tips: 

  • Be sure to let your cauliflower cook until fork tender before removing it from the water

  • Drain the cauliflower well to ensure that you’re not adding extra water to the dish

  • Let the mac and cheese sit and cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Because this recipe is using cauliflower instead of pasta, expect there to be a little liquid when you cut into the casserole. Allowing the mac and cheese to sit and cool, helps to let the dish set so there’s not too much extra liquid. 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto, Gluten-Free, and Low Carb)

I hope you love this dish as much as we do! It is our favorite recipe to whip up when we’re craving some cheesy goodness! If you make it, can you do me a favor? Snap a picture and tag me on social media so that I can see and share! I love seeing what y’all are creating in your kitchens!


Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Keto, Gluten-Free, and Low Carb)

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese

  • 8 oz sharp yellow cheddar cheese

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 1 egg, whisked

  • ¼ cup finely sliced green onion

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Add the cauliflower and salt to a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a bowl and cook the cauliflower until tender, around 15-20 minutes.

  3. When the cauliflower is tender, drain the water and add it to a large mixing bowl.

  4. Add 4oz of sharp white cheddar cheese, 4 oz sharp yellow cheddar cheese, sour cream, egg, green onion, garlic powder, and black pepper to the mixing bowl. Stir until the cauliflower mixture is well combined.

  5. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a small baking dish and top with remaining yellow cheddar cheese. Bake the mac and cheese at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until it becomes golden brown and bubbly.

  6. Allow the mac and cheese to sit and cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!



Feel free to sub the white cheddar cheese for yellow if you prefer

Be sure to allow the cauliflower to sit before serving for best results

Keywords: cauliflower Mac and cheese, cauliflower, macaroni and cheese, keto cauliflower Mac and cheese

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Recipe rating

  1. I made this as a side dish for a dinner party tonight and it was fantastic! One of my friends is keto, so I was looking for something he could eat without feeling left out, and everyone was raving about this all night–even those who aren’t keto. Thanks for an excellent recipe!

    • Happy to hear that, Rachel! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  2. Delicious! I have a chronic condition and I have a hard time processing gluten, so thank you for this recipe! Perfect side dish and so easy! We steamed the cauliflower in the instapot, making the process even shorter. Then just added about 1/2 tsp of salt in the mix. So good!

    • I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Lizette! Thank you for taking the time to share what worked for you and leave a review!

  3. This is amazing! I was unsure if it would fill my Mac and cheese craving but it absolutely did. It was easy to make and the leftovers have been very convenient to eat cold out of the fridge. We also made your cauliflower soup last week. I am a bug fan of your recipes. Thank you for sharing your art!!

  4. This is the best cauliflower Mac and Cheese I’ve ever had! Followed the directions exactly except I used Cabot Mac and Cheese blend. I even mixed it with buffalo chicken too to make buffalo chicken cauliflower Mac and cheese!

  5. There is no way you meant 1 tbsp of salt. I saw that and did 1 tap and even still it was so salty (I love lots of salt) it was terrible!!! We dumped the whole dish. Please correct!

  6. Looks great! Will make soon to go with a ham I’ll be cooking soon.

    One thing to note, though. Orange cheese and white cheese are the same flavor-wise. There is only dyed cheese (orange) or natural cheese color with no dye (white).. The only reason cheese is dyed orange is for marketing purposes.

    • For those of us counting our net carbs – are you able to provide more in depth nutritional information? Such as – fat , fiber , carbs etc .

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