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This One Pan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe is a healthy, low-carb, and keto friendly recipe that will satisfy your cheesy cravings. Makes a delicious and quick meal or a perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a large pan

You know those signs you see that say things like, “In our family, we do fun, and messy faces, and movie nights” and that sort of thing? Well I want one that says “In our family, we do CHEESE.”

Because that is what we do. A lot. On just about everything.

What does that have to do with this One Pan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese? Everything.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese close up in a skillet

My kids love cheese but vegetables? Now that’s another story. Just the slightest idea that there *might* be a vegetable near their plate can send them into a tailspin meltdown.

Thankfully most vegetables can be improved by adding a little – or in our case, a lot – of cheese. Cheddar, Jack, Parmesan, we’re not picky. For this cheesy cauliflower dish, I opted for cheddar and Parmesan, but you could swap these out for your favorites. This Keto Mac and Cheese is not for the faint of heart.

A pot of cauliflower A pot of Cauliflower with cheese

Wait. This isn’t “Mac” and cheese…

Now in case I threw you off with the whole “Mac & cheese” description, let me explain. This One Pan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese tastes like traditional Mac & Cheese. The cauliflower has a lovely nutty flavor and when cooked properly has a nice bite too it that mimics that of an al dente macaroni pasta. The cheese sauce is creamy and delicious and pairs so nicely with the cauliflower that you’ll never miss the carbs! I know I might be pushing it a bit, but if you’re really trying to cut carbs, this is a decent alternative to mac and cheese.

Enjoy this easy one pan recipe as a side dish along with your favorite meals or as a main dish. We’ll be adding this to our list of the best Thanksgiving Side Dishes, so be sure to check that out too!

What to do with leftovers

Recipes with cheese sauce like this keto friendly cauliflower mac and cheese, don’t hold up well to freezing so that’s not recommended. To store, cover and place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat carefully in the microwave at 50% power for best results.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a bowl

And for more delicious cheesy side dishes, try these:

Recipe
A close up of cauliflower mac and cheese

One Pan Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese

4.75 from 8 votes
This One Pan Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese recipe is a healthy, low-carb recipe that will satisfy your cheesy cravings. Makes a delicious and quick meal or a perfect Thanksgiving side dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets approximate, depending on the size of the head of cauliflower
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2/3 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley
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Instructions
 

  • Cut cauliflower into small florets.
  • In a large pot, boil 6 cups of salted water. Add cauliflower and boil for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • Return cauliflower to the pot over low heat.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper, garlic powder, paprika and stir to coat. Stir in cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Parmesan until melted and combined.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipes with cheese sauce like this keto friendly cauliflower mac and cheese, don’t hold up well to freezing so that’s not recommended. To store, cover and place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat carefully in the microwave at 50% power for best results.
Keyword cauliflower and cheese, gluten free macaroni and cheese, one pot meals

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 231mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 524IUVitamin C: 48mgCalcium: 199mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of "Yellow Bliss Road" is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Adapted from Goodful.

a skillet with cauliflower and cheese sauce with a wooden spoon and title text

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Pat says:

    I thought this was great. I overcooked the cauliflower a little, so next time I will cook for less time or make the florets larger. I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper which gave it a little kick. Overall very nice.

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback Pat! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Sylvia says:

    I haven’t tried it yet but love the easy part! Can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Sylvia! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Lisa says:

    I understand substituting the cauliflower for the pasta. However, the cream cheese and full fat cheese is horrible! What is the fat and cholesterol in this recipe?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Lisa, if you are concerned about the fat and cholesterol in this recipe, you certainly don’t have to make it. You are also welcome to use low-fat cheeses in your own kitchen. Since I am not a dietician or nutritionist, I am not comfortable providing this sort of information. However, you can plug the ingredients into your favorite fitness tracker to get the results.

    2. Kim says:

      It is mentioned above that this is a keto friendly recipe, which is a high fat low carb lifestyle. Thanks for sharing Kristin.

  4. Marsha says:

    What are the carbs and serving size? I see the calories.

    1. Kristin says:

      Recipe is updated – 6 carbs. Serving size is listed as around 1.5 cups.

  5. Sheryl Maclaughlin says:

    This was amazing!!! Creamy & cheesy. Like it just as much as regular Mac n cheese! Will definitely make it again.

  6. Lisa Scott says:

    This was so good!!! I’m glad I found your recipe so now I don’t have to do without “mac and cheese” for the rest of my life!! LOL Li

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Lisa!

  7. Jessica says:

    Soo good! Added some ground turkey to make it sort of a “hamburger helper” type meal. Super easy, love this recipe!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thank you Jessica.

  8. Brittian says:

    I made this for the second time last night. The first time came out a little bland, so for round 2, I poured a lot of salt in the boiling water. I also added more spice and some goat cheese. I’d pick this over regular mac and cheese any day of the week.

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Brittian, I love that you were able to make it work for you! thank you so much for sharing your positive feedback.

  9. Natasha says:

    Wow, sounds delicious. I just made cauliflower salad…super yummy.

    Thx for the recipe ??

    1. Kristin says:

      You’re so welcome Natasha! thank you so much for stopping by!

  10. Jenni Ledford says:

    One pot cauliflower Mac & cheese…..Amazing recipe! Me & my daughter are trying the Keto diet and this is made several times a week at our house! So delicious but most importantly low carb! Thank you!

  11. Peggy says:

    Can you use frozen cauliflower?

    1. Kristin says:

      If you thaw it first and drain any residual liquid, sure.

  12. Ed says:

    Making this for the 3rd time since beginning of the year. It’s great tasting. Huge fan of Mac n cheese but stay away from actual pasta. Thanks for posting the recipe.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Ed! Thanks for sharing your feedback!

  13. Nancy says:

    I served this with fish cakes and it was soooo good! My husband and I are watching our carbs and really enjoyed this. The recipe really reminded me of traditional mac and cheese… a real treat!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Nancy!

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