Cauliflower Mac and Cheese: a delicious, easy, keto-friendly recipe

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
chopped cauliflower florets, 1/2-inch pieces
8 cups
1 tbsp
Olive oil
2 tsp
minced onion
1/4 cup
3 tbsp
2 cups
sharp cheddar, grated
7 ounces
salt and pepper to taste

Craving mac and cheese but trying to stick to a low-carb diet? Then you'll adore this easy keto-friendly cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. Cauliflower macaroni is a healthy, low-carb, keto version of the classic mac and cheese you know and love.

It's rich, creamy, and perfectly cheesy, and made with cauliflower instead of pasta, so you can chow down on a bowl without worrying about your net carb count. The best part is that cauliflower mac and cheese is super easy to make, and it's a great way to get more nutritious veggies into your life, even if you aren't on the keto diet!

What is the Sauce for Cauliflower Macaroni?

Cauliflower mac and cheese is made with a delicious, keto-friendly cheese sauce. It's made from onions, sharp cheddar cheese, milk, and a little flour. If you're worried about the carb count of the flour in this recipe, use almond flour instead of AP flour.

How to Make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

To make cauliflower macaroni, start by boiling the cauliflower until it's tender, but firm, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain it and pop it in a bowl. Melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat and fry the onions for a few minutes.

Mix in the flour and cook until the raw flour smell disappears, then whisk in the milk and crank up the heat. Stir the milk continuously to help thicken it up. Remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool down for a couple of minutes, then stir in the cheese bit by bit.

Finally, bake your mac and cheese for 15 to 20 minutes at 400F. To get that gorgeous golden brown, crispy top, broil the cauliflower macaroni for 2 minutes before taking it out and serving it.


Tips for the Best Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Use fresh or frozen cauliflower – either will taste delicious!

If your sauce is turning out watery, try adding extra flour to it, and don't forget to let it cook down once the milk has been added. If that still doesn't work, adding extra cheese will thicken it up (and make it even tastier!).

You can use any type of cheese you like. Swiss, provolone, gouda, gruyere, or a mix of your favorites will all taste great.

To make gluten-free cauliflower macaroni, swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative.

Add the cheese to the sauce gradually. It'll melt more evenly.

For an ultra-creamy sauce that isn't grainy or gritty, grate the cheese yourself. Making the roux before adding the cheese will also help your sauce stay ultra-smooth. One last tip: let the sauce cool down ever so slightly before you add the cheese. If you add cheese to boiling sauce, it'll become gritty.

To make vegan cauliflower mac and cheese, use a vegan cheese substitute.

What to Serve with Cauliflower Macaroni

Serve your cauliflower mac and cheese with a green salad or some steamed or roasted vegetables. If you're on a low-carb diet, sides like crack slaw, sauteed mushrooms, cheesy baked green beans or zucchini, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and roasted eggplant are all keto-friendly sides you might enjoy.

How to Store Cauliflower Mac and Cheese 

Transfer your mac and cheese to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Cauliflower Mac and Cheese?

Absolutely! Frozen cauliflower mac and cheese will last up to 3 months.

More Recipes You'll Like

Keto taco cups

Cauliflower cottage pie

Keto eggs in a nest

Cauliflower pizza bites


Preheat your oven to 400F.

Pour 1 inch of water into a pot. Season with salt and bring to boil. Place the cauliflower in the water and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place the cauliflower in a bowl.

Melt the butter with oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the onions for 2 minutes.

Whisk in the flour, lower the heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese melts into the sauce.

Add in the cauliflower, then transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Broil for 2 additional minutes, or until golden brown.


Grate the cheese yourself – it'll melt more evenly and tastes better than pre-shredded cheese.

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