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If you’re looking for a low carb mac and cheese replacement, you may be surprised by this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. Yes, I know it’s not actual pasta, but it will totally fulfill that comfort food craving! It’s almost just as good, and so much healthier.
Cauliflower Mac n Cheese as Low Carb Pasta
Do you say “mac and cheese” or “mac n cheese”? Either way, this keto version with cauliflower will do the trick. It does for me, anyway!
That’s saying a lot, because when I was a kid, pasta was pretty much its own food group for me. Being one of the pickiest eaters you’ll ever find, even common so-called “kid foods” like fries and pizza were “no’s” at one point.
Pasta, on the other hand, that was always an enthusiastic “yes”! With some butter or olive oil and a very generous helping of shredded cheese… I could’ve eaten pasta every day. Fortunately, I was in rhythmic gymnastics for 20 hours a week, so there was no problem staying fit even with all the pasta I was eating.
Being Russian, I didn’t get to try all-American macaroni and cheese until much later. I still remember tasting it for the first time, at a friend’s house as a pre-teen. Not knowing (or caring!) back then about how processed it was, I absolutely fell in love! Of course the creamy cheese sauce was the best part. The carbs in mac and cheese didn’t even cross my mind.
My adoration for mac and cheese followed me through my college years. I didn’t cook a lot in college, but mac and cheese was a staple. I learned to make my own homemade kind eventually, and then I missed it dearly when I switched to a low carb and gluten-free lifestyle.
Of course, you’ll never think you’re eating pasta when you eat cauliflower. But, with the right low carb cheese sauce, it’s the next best thing.
Keto Low Carb Cheese Sauce is the Secret
These days, low carb cauliflower mac and cheese is my ultimate comfort food. The keto cheese sauce is so deliciously rich and creamy! That’s what makes this dish such a good mac and cheese sub. And, it’s super simple, with just three ingredients in the sauce, plus salt and pepper.
Roasted cauliflower makes a great stand-in for macaroni – hence the name, Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese. It’s still on my list to create a low carb pasta recipe, but until then, the cauliflower does surprisingly well. Particularly because it’s roasted.
You guys, always roast your cauliflower whenever possible! Do not steam it, unless you’re making cauliflower breadsticks or something. Roasting is more flavorful, and you don’t get that steamed cauliflower smell. So. Much. Better. (If you’re looking for another delicious way to enjoy roasted cauliflower, try roasted broccoli and cauliflower with parmesan and garlic, or an easy pesto chicken bake with cauliflower.)
If keto cauliflower mac and cheese isn’t enough, you can lighten up the recipe by using more almond milk and less cream. Or just the opposite, make it more rich by using more cream instead. Coconut milk or coconut cream would also be fine, if you don’t mind some coconut flavor in there. I also like to throw in some garlic or other spices for a more adult version.
Making Low Carb Mac and Cheese for Kids
Backtracking a little, I said “so-called kid foods” near the beginning of the post, because I don’t believe in this “separate kid foods” nonsense as an adult. With my own kids, they eat what we eat at the table. Sure, I may cut it into fun shapes or something as they get older, but the food will still be the same as ours. Real Food.
My job is to offer my kids nutritious food, and it’s up to them to choose how much they want to eat. This is so important for them to learn to recognize hunger signals and get used to eating unprocessed foods. If you do this consistently, it pays off!
My two year old is excited when she sees that I made cauliflower mac and cheese. She actually begs me for more. If you have kids and are looking for ways to get them to eat more veggies, I hope you’ll try this recipe.
Low Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe with Keto Cheese Sauce:
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Low Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe with Keto Cheese Sauce
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RECIPE TIPS in the post above! VIDEO + nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Melt 2 tablespoons (28 g) of butter. In a large bowl, toss together the cauliflower florets with the melted butter. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Arrange the cauliflower florets on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 10-15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Heat the cheddar cheese, heavy cream, milk, and remaining tablespoon of butter, stirring frequently. (You can do this on the stove in a double broiler, or in the microwave.) Heat until the cheese mixture is smooth. Be careful not to overheat or burn the cheese.
- Toss cauliflower with cheese sauce right before serving.
Net carbs per serving (1 cup): 7g
Video Showing How To Make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese:
Click or tap on the image below to play the video. It's the easiest way to learn how to make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese!
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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