Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe

Your low carb goals achieved with flying colors when you dig into this insanely easy Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy, creamy and luscious, topped with a crispy golden crust….you’ll never care to go back to your carb loaded favorite macaroni and cheese again.

Crispy cheesy Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese on a white plate with salad and a gold fork.

HOW is it Monday already?  I feel like we just got the weekend started and here we are….Monday. AND we’re wrapping up January in just a few short days which means we’re one month closer to summer. HEY-OOOO! Who’s excited!?!?  I know we have several long weeks of winter left but the thought of sun, sand and surf makes me so very happy.

But in the meantime, to get outdoors a bit we went skiing this past weekend and I, seriously, have not been on skis in over 20 years. I was a little nervous but it’s totally just like riding a bike so I’m back at it….the skiing thing, that is.  We’re going again this week in the hopes of taking an extended weekend in a couple weeks someone a bit bigger than our hometown ski ‘resort.’

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a blue baking dish with a crispy top and a spoonful being held above it.

So, with all the cold and the being outdoors in the cold and the flu (oh yeah, I was sick all weekend) I’ve been craving all the cozy foods like my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.  I’ve been trying to up my intake of vegetables but a salad just isn’t quite comfort food to me so I took matters into my own hands and made a low carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe with a crispy, crunchy top. Take that Keto diet.

I looked online to find a totally low carb cauliflower Mac and cheese meaning I didn’t want it to have macaroni or any type of pasta in it at all. That’s like finding a needle in a haystack because most cauliflower Mac and cheese recipes have pureed cauliflower in the sauce. That’s not quite what I wanted.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese on a white plate with a salad.

So, how do you make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese?

This easy Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe is made with roughly chopped cauliflower which totally substitutes perfectly as the macaroni. You can also use Cauliflower Rice if you want a finer texture Mac and cheese recipe.

  1. Roughly chop one head of cauliflower removing the leaves and core.
  2. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes and immediately drain in a colander.
  3. Run the cauliflower under cold water briefly to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk to combine. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until golden whisking constantly.
  5. While whisking, slowly add the milk to the butter/flour mixture. Turn the heat to low. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, approximately 4-5 minutes.  DO NOT BOIL.
  6. Stir the cheese into the milk mixture and remove from the heat. Continue stirring until the cheese is thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Fold the cauliflower into the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  8. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper, if needed.
  9. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a baking dish coated with cooking spray and set aside.
  10. Preheat the oven.
  11. Toss together the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the top of the cauliflower mixture with the bread crumbs to coat.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Sometimes I just eat the Cauliflower Mac N Cheese right out of the pot instead of baking in the oven because I have no willpower and this macaroni and cheese is just THAT GOOD.

Chopped cauliflower on a bamboo cutting board.

Can you make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in advance?

This easy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe is great to prep ahead.  I like to use it as a weekday side dish but sometimes we just enjoy it as a main course with a light salad.

To make your Cauliflower Mac N Cheese recipe in advance:

  • Assemble the cauliflower Mac and cheese as directed and transfer to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Do NOT add the bread crumb mixture.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Before baking, remove the plastic wrap and add the bread crumb topping.
  • Bake as directed.

Leftover Cauliflower Mac and cheese is great the next day for breakfast with your morning eggs and is fantastic as a side dish at the holidays. And if you want a gluten free cauliflower Mac and cheese you can totally substitute the panko for gluten free breadcrumbs.

Overhead shot of Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a white baking dish with a spoon in them.

What else can you serve with Cauliflower Mac and cheese?

As I mentioned before, I love to serve this Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese as a side dish. Here are my favorite main courses to serve with it:

If you want a more traditional macaroni and cheese recipe, you have got to try these FAMILY FAVORITES:

10 minutes Creamy Mac and Cheese recipe in a white bowl with a blue and white fork from TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Want even MORE LOW CARB Cauliflower Recipes? Try these easy recipes:

Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Salad on a white platter with pita bread and lemons from TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

I know that’s a TON of recipes up there but think of this as your meal planning prep assistant for the rest of the week. You can just bookmark this post for easy, light, healthy recipes.

And make sure you follow us over on Instagram for all the fun recipe testing, dinner ideas and behind the scenes!

Close up of Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe with crispy golden top and a spoonful of Mac and cheese over the dish.

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a blue baking dish with a crispy top and a spoonful being held above it.

Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cauliflower, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 264 kcal
Author: Kellie

Super easy low carb baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is so simple to make. Hearty comfort food without breaking your diet.....too badly.

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the cauliflower removing the leaves and core.
  2. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes and immediately drain in a colander.
  3. Run the cauliflower under cold water briefly to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and whisk to combine. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until golden whisking constantly.
  5. While whisking, slowly add the milk to the butter/flour mixture. Turn the heat to low. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, approximately 4-5 minutes.  DO NOT BOIL.
  6. Stir the cheese into the milk mixture and remove from the heat. Continue stirring until the cheese is thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Fold the cauliflower into the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  8. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper, if needed.
  9. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a baking dish coated with cooking spray and set aside.
  10. Preheat the oven.
  11. Toss together the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the top of the cauliflower mixture with the bread crumbs to coat.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Mac and cheese can be assembled up to two days advance without the bread crumb topping. Add the topping and bake right before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 335mg15%
Potassium 293mg8%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 590IU12%
Vitamin C 27.8mg34%
Calcium 300mg30%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

2 comments on “Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe”

  1. it’s NOT Mac and cheese, it’s cauliflower cheese, completely different dish

    • Cauliflower cheese is cheese made with cauliflower…..which this is not. This is my interpretation of a low carb mac and cheese….with no pasta. Same flavor just without all the carbs.

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