Keto mac and cheese is not only a great comfort food side dish but it’s easy to make when starting the keto diet. You get all the flavor of your favorite cheeses with a melty, cheesy topping with your baked mac!
If you’ve ever had the chance to try Whole Foods cauliflower mac and cheese you will know that it has the possibility to be delicious. But, hidden carbs exist and there is a difference between keto mac and cheese and cauliflower mac and cheese.
For example, just cauliflower can be made with a roux and that uses traditional flour as a thickener for the cheese sauce. In this keto mac and cheese with cauliflower it’s not only low carb but gluten free as well and free of starches and flours. You get garlic butter and three cheeses for ultimate flavor. Cream cheese, gouda and the classic sharp cheddar make a delicious cheese sauce that takes away any bite the cauliflower may bring.
How To Make Keto Mac And Cheese With Cauliflower
- Large Head of Cauliflower
- Cream Cheese
- Sharp Cheddar
- Gouda Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- Chicken Stock
- Xanthan Gum
Prep & Baking Instructions
To start, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Roughly chop the head of cauliflower into large pieces. Add one tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Next, add the cauliflower to the water then turn the stove off. Allow the cauliflower to sit in the hot water for 30-40 minutes.
Now, in a small pot add in butter on medium high heat. Grate three cloves of garlic in to the pot. You can sub for minced garlic if you’d like but freshly grated garlic taste better. As the garlic starts to brown and become fragrant turn the heat down to medium low. Then, add in your cream cheese.
Next, add in one cup of freshly shredded sharp cheddar and one cup of gouda cheese. Mix until all the cheese has melted together. Then, add in six tablespoons of chicken stock slowly while mixing it into the cream sauce.
On the side in a small bowl, add black pepper and xanthan gum then mix the two together. Sprinkle over the cheese sauce then take a whisk and beat the sauce for a minuter or two roughly, really put your arm into it.
Then, add in half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese to finish the sauce off. Remove from heat then move to next step.
Drain the cauliflower from the water. They will still have a bite to them which is what you want. Chop up the cauliflower into smaller pieces and add them into a 8×8 baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and mix it together.
Lastly, take one cup of sharp cheddar cheese and half a cup of gouda and spread it across the top of the keto mac and cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes then finish on broil to brown the cheese on top. Allow cooling before serving.
Helpful Recipe Tips
- I can’t stress this enough do not use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe! If you do it will not turn out correctly because the cheese will not melt together due to the non-caking agent used. You have been warned, I want your keto mac and cheese to turn out the best it can.
- Why the xanthan gum? Unlike other recipes the xanthan gum isn’t used for thickness as in a sausage gravy. However, it is used a stabilizer when the cheese tries to separate from the butter or chicken stock later on.
- Does it have to be a keto Mac and cheese with cauliflower? Can you use the keto noodles we have? Yes, you can sub the cauliflower for keto macaroni noodles. Everything is the same but just prepare the noodles first. Some brands to try are ThinSlim Foods, lupin flour elbows by Kaizen or elbow pasta by the Low Carb Bread Company.
How To Store Keto Mac And Cheese With Cauliflower
Storing the keto cauliflower mac and cheese is simple. In an airtight container in the refrigerator, it’s that simple. Now, freezing leftovers can get a little tricky because of the dairy. This is where the xanthan gum will come in to help stabilize the ingredients when you plan to thaw them. If you choose not to use the xanthan gum a good stir should fix any separation that may occur with thawing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do they have keto macaroni?
Yes they do! Now is a great time to be on the diet because we have so many options with low carb, gluten free noodles. Below are some brands that I suggest you try!
How do you make keto mac and cheese sauce?
On keto we don’t use flour. Flour is needed to make a traditional roux for mac and cheese. However, we use things such as cheese and xanthan or guar gum to thicken things while cooking. The use of cream cheese gives the creamy texture and thickness we look for in this recipe.
Can I do a breadcrumb topping?
Yes, options we use are pork rinds, parmesan cheese or almond flour. A little bit of almond flour and butter will brown just like I did in my green bean casserole and my faux sweet potato casserole. Pork rinds will give the most crunch however and parmesan will produce the most flavor.
What to serve with keto mac and cheese?
Garlic Butter 3 Cheese Keto Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 8×8 baking dish
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 ounce full fat cream cheese
- 2.5 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1.5 cup gouda cheese
- 6 tablespoon chicken stock/broth
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add in 1 TB of salt. Chop up a large head of cauliflower (2 small heads if you can't find a large) in big pieces. Turn the heat off the pot then drop the cauliflower in for 30-40 minutes.
- Shred all your cheese by hand. You can't by pre-shredded for this recipe.
- In a small bowl or something mix together your black pepper and xanthan gum. This will keep the xanthan gum from clumping later on.
- In a pot on medium high heat add in 2 TB of butter. Grate all 3 cloves of garlic over the butter then cook until the garlic is browning and fragrant.
- Lower heat to medium low and add in cream cheese. Now, only had 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1 cup of gouda. Mix the cheese until everything has melted and is smooth.
- Next, using a tablespoon pour in 6 TB of chicken stock mixing between each tablespoon.
- Then sprinkle over the mix of black pepper and xanthan gum. Quickly using a whisk begin to beat the sauce for a minute or so. This will bring everything together as smooth as possible.
- Before removing from the heat fold in 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese.
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Drain the cauliflower, this is when you chop it up into bite-sized pieces. Add all the chopped cauliflower into the 8×8 baking dish.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and mix them together evenly.
- Take the remaining sharp cheddar cheese and gouda cheese and top dish off. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Then turn on broil to brown the top.
- Note: Cooking for 15 minutes allows the cauliflower to keep its bite and not turn mushy.
- Allow to cool before serving. In a 8×8 baking dish cut 3×3 you can get 9 servings.