Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

 

Going Going, Back Back, to Cauli Cauli

That's right, we're revisiting the magical vegetable once again. Cauliflower is truly the most versatile ingredient when it comes to hacking your favorite non-keto recipes and we've done it again. This time we've got a phenomenal baked cauliflower mac and cheese. We didn't stop there though. This recipe also features guest appearances by bacon and pork rinds to pack in as much flavor as possible. I'll keep this brief as Megha is going to show you how everything is done in this video:
 

 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese That's Sure to Please

 
This cauliflower mac and cheese would convert even the most ardent of mac and cheese purists. There are a couple of decisions that we've made to ensure that we come out with a delicious crispy cauliflower mac and cheese that's a step above any you've tried before.
 
cauliflower mac and cheese tray spoon
 
Pan Roasted Cauliflower With Bacon
 
Often times cauliflower mac and cheese recipes will call for boiling, steaming or baking the cauliflower. Instead, we pan roast the cauliflower to perfection with bacon. The cauliflower will absorb all of the flavor of the bacon and it will also have a much better texture than other preparation methods. We achieve a perfect al dente cook on the cauliflower, as well as a nice golden brown color. This can't be replicated with any other cooking method!
 
Pork Rind Topping
 
My favorite type of mac and cheese has a crispy top on it. There's something to be said for the traditional shells with cheese sauce style, but it pales in comparison to a well cooked mac and cheese with an extra crunchy and cheesy topping. To achieve that crisp you're normally going to turn to bread crumbs...but carbs! In place of bread crumbs we're using pork rinds. Pork rinds crisp up just as nicely and give a nice flavor to the final dish. One word of caution in the preparation of this dish is that both the bacon and pork rinds have a good amount of salt in them, so you may want to take it easy on the amount of salt used.
 
cauliflower mac and cheese plated
 

Bake and Broil

 
The last step is to bake and broil this cauliflower mac and cheese. The broiling time we recommend is 3-5 minutes, but this can vary a lot from oven to oven. I'd recommend keeping an eye on it the entire time it is broiling to make sure it doesn't burn. This will also allow you to pull it out when you have achieved the exact amount of crisp you want. Our pictures show a broiling time of 4 minutes as a reference point.
 
cauliflower mac and cheese pinterest

Nutrition

(per serving - 4 large servings per recipe)
Calories: 315
Fat: 25.5g
Protein: 16.5g
Carbs: 7.5g
Fiber: 2g
Net Carbs: 5.5g


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cauliflower mac and cheese plated
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Print Recipe
Recipe Video is included in the body of the blog post!
Servings Prep Time
4 portions 5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 portions 5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
cauliflower mac and cheese plated
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Print Recipe
Recipe Video is included in the body of the blog post!
Servings Prep Time
4 portions 5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 portions 5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
Cauliflower Base
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2 slices bacon thick cut
  • 1/2 medium Onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
Cheese Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • salt and pepper To Taste
Baked Topping
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1/2 oz Pork Rinds crushed - We use these!
Servings: portions
Instructions
Cauliflower Base
  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dice the bacon and separate the cauliflower into "macaroni" sized pieces. We do this by hand, but you can also use a knife. Add bacon and cauliflower to the skillet and allow to cook for 5 minutes, or until the bacon is nearly fully cooked.
  3. Dice the onion, finely chop the garlic and add items to the skillet. Cook for 10 more minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked and the onions are translucent. You'll want to cauliflower to be slightly al dente so that it cooks the remainder of the way in the oven.
Cheese Sauce
  1. Combine butter, cheddar cheese(1 cup), and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Cook on low heat until everything is melted and combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake
  1. Place the cauliflower mixture into a baking dish. We use an 8x8.
  2. Pour the cheese sauce over top and mix everything together with a spoon.
  3. Top with crushed pork rinds and the remaining cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes to crisp up the topping. Enjoy!

21 Comments on “Cauliflower Mac and Cheese With Bacon | Baked

  1. I’m new to keto and I just tried this tonight. It was Awesome! The only noticeable change I made was I added just a touch of Dijon to the sauce and I just sprinkled the top with parmesan because that’s what I had. Great recipe!

  2. New to Keto. 2nd week. Tried this today and fell in love! The broiler really brought this dish home! Following you all on you tube and the video on holiday tips was just what I needed! Great work. Look forward to new recipes.

  3. Made this last night. Added the Dijon, because that sounded good. Used the whole cauliflower instead of the half because I had a slightly larger pan. Scaled up the cheese sauce for six servings instead of four – I must have done something wrong, because it seemed like a lot of butter. The topping is to die for. Today I had some of the leftovers. I will definitely be doing this one again – YUM!

    1. Hi Lori! Great call on adding the Dijon – bet that added a great bite to it! Hmm, not sure if you went wrong because more butter equals more fat and thats a great thing in our books πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed it as much as we did!!

  4. This is soooooo good!!! Thank you for all your wonderful ideas. This is even better the next day so I’m going to start making it on Sunday for my lunches. Of course I’m assuming there will be some left and it’s not looking too good right now. lol

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for letting us know it’s better than next day. We definitely did not have any left to spare when we made it haha. Glad you like it and thanks for reaching out πŸ™‚

  5. Ok can I just say how in love with your blog and YouTube channel I am! Cause really it’s the best keto food blog I’ve found! Also just made this mac n cheese, so flipping good!!! I used pepperjack and mozzarella instead to make white mac. It is divine! This will probably become a weekly regular. Will defiantly be working my way through all your recipes!

    1. Hi Dailey! Thank you so much for your kind words!! It definitely helps us keep chugging along and making new recipes. We also love the mac and cheese in our house – i’m sure you saw me eat the whole pan in our video hehe. Sounds like you made a great variation on it. We will definitely have to try it! Thank you again for reaching out ☺️

  6. Been keto off and on and trying to get re-energized to go for it in the New Year. Would love to try this recipe, but we don’t eat pork. I’m sure I could substitute thick cut turkey bacon for the pork bacon. . . But the pork rinds??

    A little help here . . . 😩

    1. Wendy, you can omit the pork rinds. Maybe a little extra cheese on top instead!? Also, If you’re subbing turkey bacon you may want to add a little additional butter in there with the cauliflower!

  7. Thanks Matt! Appreciate the advice. If you ever find a good crunchy topping -like substitute for pork rinds, count me in as a Guinea pig 😁
    Love the blog and vids on YT–keep on ketoing!

  8. Nobody’s surprised that this is absolutely amazing. After I saw the video where Megha was about to devour the pan, I was sold… and can completely see why.

    Like many others I also added some dijon, it gives a nice balance to a dish that is absolutely decadent and rich. This is my new pot-luck meal!

    1. Hi Randi! Eating the entire thing on camera isn’t one of my finest moments, but it does attest well to the fact that this dish is delish! Taking it to pot lucks and work/friend parties is a great idea!! i’ll be doing the same!

  9. Thank you so much for this recipe. I make homemade mac and cheese for my family for Christmas dinner and wasn’t sure what I could make for myself and my mom since we no longer eat pasta. I found this recipe and everyone loved it! Even my daughter and my niece who do not like cauliflower loved it. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!!

  10. This is so BOMB! I made this tonight while making “regular” homemade mac n cheese for my family….Mine looked better!!! It was so good!

  11. This absolutely amazing!!! Thanks for the recipe and all the helpful info for Keto. A week in to Keto and am so happy that I can once again eat all the food I shunned for years. Yay!! God bless you and keep it coming.

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