This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe uses just a few simple ingredients and swaps cauliflower for the traditional pasta. If you are looking for a grain-free or veggie-forward take on macaroni and cheese, I know you’ll love this recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I will be the first person to tell you that there is nothing like real deal macaroni and cheese, but if you want all the cheesy goodness in a more veggie-focused package then you’re going to love this recipe.

Instead of a making a cheese sauce, all you need for this dish is shredded cheese and just five more ingredients to whip up this simple recipe. Another great thing about this cauliflower 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.

More Reader Favorite Cauliflower Recipes

cauliflower Mac and cheese ingredients

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole Ingredients

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

Cheese: for the ultimate flavor and color, this recipe uses a combination of both sharp white and gooey mozzarella. If you don’t love sharp cheddar, feel free to use mild instead. For the best results, I recommend shredding your cheese by hand to ensure that it melts well.

Egg: you’ll need one egg to help bind everything together. 

Sour Cream: this helps to give 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!

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Cheese – you can really use whatever cheese you prefer in this recipe. The one caveat is that you want to choose a cheese that melts well for that delicious gooey cheesy texture. Some of my favorites are cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, and Monterrey jack cheeses. 
  • Sour Cream – swap the sour cream for full fat Greek yogurt if you prefer. 

ingredients in mixing bowl

How to Make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Two: 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 8-10 minutes.

Step Three: When the cauliflower is tender, transfer it to a colander and let it drain for 5-10 minutes. Then, add it to a large mixing bowl.

Step Four: Add 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, sour cream, egg, green onion, garlic powder, and black pepper to the mixing bowl. Stir until the cauliflower mixture is well combined.

Step Five: Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake the mac and cheese at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it becomes golden brown and bubbly.

Step Six: Allow the mac and cheese to sit and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

cauliflower Mac and cheese before baking

Tips and Tricks for Making This Recipe

  • 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 scoop 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. 

How to Store and Reheat

Store: Wrap the casserole dish tightly with food safe wrap or aluminum foil. Store in the fridge for three to four days. You can also transfer the mac and cheese to an air-tight container to store. 

Reheat: The easiest way to reheat this dish is in the microwave. Lightly cover the mac and cheese with a wet paper towel and microwave on high for thirty seconds to one minute at a time until warmed through. 

baked cauliflower Mac and cheese

More Thanksgiving Recipes to Serve

Here are few more of our reader favorite Thanksgiving recipes to add your menu this holiday season:

Get all of our best Thanksgiving recipes, here!

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!

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cauliflower Mac and cheese in a pink baking dish

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

  • 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

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, hand shredded
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, hand shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the 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 8-10 minutes.
  3. When the cauliflower is tender, transfer it to a colander and let it drain for 5-10 minutes. Then, add it to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella 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 baking dish and top with remaining 4 ounces of cheddar cheese. Bake the mac and cheese at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it becomes golden brown and bubbly.
  6. Allow the mac and cheese to sit and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Keywords:

cauliflower Mac and cheese, cauliflower, macaroni and cheese, keto cauliflower Mac and cheese

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12 Comments

  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!

    1. Natalie Perkins (ATHT) says:

      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!

    1. Ashlea Carver says:

      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!!

    1. Ashlea Carver says:

      I’m so happy you loved it, Mary! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind review!

  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.

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

      1. Ashlea Carver says:

        Hi, Marta! all of that information is included in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.