Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese

While I love the mac part of mac and cheese, I am often looking for ways to include more veggies in meals, especially during holiday time! And, many of you have asked for some lower carb recipe options, so here we are with cauliflower ‘mac’ and cheese!

This can be an easy main dish during the week, or it can be something you make on the weekend and serve as leftovers throughout the week. It’s filled with cheddar cheese and Parmesan and loaded with chunks of cauliflower. I like to serve it with some green veggies or a salad to round things out!

To cook cauli ‘mac’ and cheese, I like to use fresh cauliflower when I have a few extra minutes to cut it up (or buy the precut bags in the produce department!), but you can also use frozen cauliflower florets. You could also swap out the cauliflower and make broccoli mac! Either way, it’s an absolutely delicious take on traditional mac.

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Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30-40 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins – 1 hr
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove-Top, Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Easy ‘mac’ and cheese made with cauliflower instead of pasta!


  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly shredded Parmesan


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets to the boil water and cook 5-7 minutes or until slightly tender. Drain and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan to medium. Add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Whisk in the flour and cook 1-2 minutes or until lightly golden, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in the stock and bring to a simmer for 4-5 minutes or until thickened, whisking frequently. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, mustard powder, nutmeg and cayenne.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine. Spread into an even layer in the baking dish. Top with an even layer of Parmesan cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the top is lightly browned. Let cool slightly before serving.


Cooking Tip: Use frozen cauliflower florets instead of cooking fresh. Swap in 3 12-ounce bags and steam according to package directions. Then follow steps 1, 2, 4 and 5.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 214
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg

Keywords: cauliflower, mac and cheese, low carb, side dish