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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:

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


  • 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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  • 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.


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


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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4.75 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  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!

  14. Steve says:

    Really good recipe! I do a lot of cauliflower substitutes just to keep the calories down and help limit my starches a bit. This is the best Mac and cheese substitutes recipe I have ever made. I liked almost more than the smoked brisket we had with it, and I love brisket.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Steve!

  15. Tori Olson says:

    It says serve immediately. I was thinking of making it this afternoon and serving with dinner. Is there a reason I should not refrigerate before serving?

    1. Kristin says:

      It’s recommended to serve immediately because the cheese sauce can get too think as it stands. You might be fine reheating it if you add a little bit of milk and reheat on the stove.

      1. Derek Tipsword says:

        Thanks for posting. I just started a low carb diet and was looking for decent sides. I hate cauliflower, but was getting tired of eating broccoli and greens. I tried it out and loved it. I would eat this even if I wasn’t on a diet. I will use regular paprika next time. I’m not fond of smoked. I didn’t have any Parmesan but added some taco blend and worked out.

  16. Cavin Archie says:

    Is this recipe keto friendly? I love Mac and cheese, just can’t have pasta.

    1. Kristin says:

      I’m not a Keto expert so I can’t say for sure if it would be. You’d have to read the ingredients and judge for yourself.

  17. Kathy says:

    I believe I figured the net carb count. I came up with 2.7 per serving. I used a free carb count website.

    1. Kristin says:

      Great, thanks!

    2. Alicia Hatfield says:


  18. Maria B Rugolo says:

    Excellent recipe. Followed as written with great success. Thank you.

  19. Charlie says:

    Can I sub yogurt for cream cheese?

    1. Kristin says:

      I haven’t used yogurt in this recipe so I can’t say for sure how it would work. However, I would be worried that it could separate. Probably worth trying though.

  20. Elsye says:

    Hello, Kristen. I am confused about the “210kcal”… Does that mean it’s 2000+ calories?

  21. Jenna says:

    Do you think this would be ok with riced cauliflower?

  22. Michelle says:

    Delicious! A great alternative to Mac and cheese, but also a great side dish on its own!

    1. Kristin says:

      And a little healthier too 😉

  23. April says:

    How dare you not do the extra work of providing all of the nutritional info on your FREE website. That means *I* actually have to do the work? UGH!! /sarcasm

    Seriously, this was a great side dish. I used a little HWC to make it creamier. My family loved it.

    I appreciate you.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you so much April! I appreciate your sarcasm and your kind words! 🙂

    2. Laura D Thompson says:

      what is HWC??

      1. Casey says:

        Heavy Whipping Cream

        1. Laura says:


  24. Andrea says:

    Can this be made without the Parmesan? I am currently out.

    1. Kristin says:

      Yes, I would just add maybe a little more of the cheddar.

  25. Zeta Lane says:

    Just amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. This will definitely be a frequent dish at our house.

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome, glad you enjoyed it!


    Please list the fats, carbs & other necessary information for a proper Keto diet. I don’t see that information anywhere.

    Thank you `

    1. Kristin says:

      Unfortunately since I am not a nutritionist I am not always able to provide nutritional information for each recipe. However there are great sites out there, like, that can help.
      Thanks for sharing your feedback.

      1. DENISE M COSTELLO says:

        So really, we need 2 find this receipe on the Keto site so we can track it. Ugh……. Thank u anyway….

        1. Kristin says:

          This isn’t a keto recipe site, so, yes.

        2. AJ says:

          Why would you demand/expect that she provide you with the nutritional info relating to a Keto diet when it doesn’t state anywhere that this is a Keto recipe, and then be so rude when she can’t provide that information? If you are on a Keto diet you should be used to looking up nutritional information yourself…

  27. Jen says:

    I made this a few days ago. It was soo delicious and so easy! My sister asked me to bring in to thanksgiving this year. Thanks again for the recipe.

  28. Kris says:

    First, I’m soooo jealous that your family does everything CHEESE!! I could live off cheese, my family, not so much!! This looks sooo delish, I’ll probably be making this tonight! Question, have you made this w/o the cream cheese? I’m afraid that this would take it to another level of cheese that my send my hubby over the edge! Thx!

    1. Kristin says:

      I haven’t, and you could. The cream cheese helps to make the sauce nice and creamy, the way it would be if you were to go through the steps of making a roux with butter and flour and milk (like a traditional sauce). I say try it with and if they don’t like it, the more for you! Ha!

      1. Peabody says:

        I used Velveeta instead of cream cheese. It was pretty good, but not as creamy. B

        1. Kristin says:

          Try it again with the cream cheese – so good!!

  29. MammaStellie says:

    This was lovely! Even better the next day.

  30. Amy says:

    OMG, I’m blown away by how delicious this was. However, I did added crispy pancetta and that took it to the next level. Perfect Keto meal!

    1. Kristin says:

      Oh pancetta sounds amazing!!

  31. Pam Swanson says:

    Can this hold awhile before serving?

    1. Kristin says:

      The cheese sauce could separate…so I wouldn’t wait too long before serving.

  32. Heather says:

    SO DELICIOUS! My family loved it!

    1. Brandi Turner says:

      How do you count the calories and carbs?

      1. Kristin says:

        Check out!

  33. Julie says:

    Do you put nutritional information with your recipes? One pot cauliflower macncheese. Calories, sodium, carbs, serving size?

    1. Cookie says:

      I would like to know as well.

      1. Kathy says:

        I think I calculated the carb count as 2.7 from a free carb calculator web site. Hope this helps.

    2. Trinia says:

      128 grams = one cup – 4g Total carbs, 13 g fat, 6 g protein, net calories is 140. Hope this helps everyone.