Keto mac and cheese is perfect for anyone with a macaroni cheese craving! Roasted cauliflower and broccoli florets, crispy bacon and a suuuper creamy cheese sauce… this easy recipe is low carb comfort food at its best.
If you’re looking for a low carb replacement for macaroni cheese, you have come to the right place!
I am fully aware this recipe does NOT contain pasta. But it really is the next best thing! With its gooey, creamy cheese sauce and topped with MORE melted stringy cheese this dish is absolutely swoon-worthy…let me tell you, you’ll want seconds! So, while we could call this recipe simply “cheesy cauliflower and broccoli casserole”, I think it deserves the “Keto mac n cheese” name tag 😉
As a child growing up in Germany, I used to have the occasional carbonara, but generally, I was firmly a pasta with tomato sauce kinda girl. It wasn’t until I started University in London that I discovered macaroni and cheese. It was easy, it was cheesy…basically, cheap and cheerful comfort food. In those days, I never thought about what was healthy and what wasn’t. I used to do a lot of sport and as far as I was aware, pasta was a food group!
Now I’m rocking my 40s and I need to watch my carbs, for health reasons and to keep my waistline in check. That high metabolism certainly is a thing of the past!
Cauliflower seems to be one of the cornerstones of low carb cooking. You can use it to make “fauxtato” mash like I did in my low carb fish pie or enjoy it as a rice replacement like in my cauliflower egg fried rice or this Moroccan cauliflower rice. I’ve even seen people bake cakes with it – but you could argue that may be taking things a little too far!
So, while cauliflower may not exactly LOOK like macaroni, with its neutral taste (if it’s fresh!!) and soft texture it is a good stand-in for macaroni – especially when it’s smothered in yummy cheese sauce.
How to make a super easy, crazy delicious Keto mac and cheese:
1.) Place the cauliflower and broccoli florets on a non stick baking tray and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
2.) Add the chopped bacon and bake for a further 20 minutes until cooked and the broccoli slightly crisp.
3.) While the veggies are in the oven, fry the garlic in butter over medium heat. Cook until the garlic starts to become fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4.) Add the heavy/double cream, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, cream cheese and half of the cheddar cheese. Stir until melted using a hand whisk and then simmer on a low heat for about 2 minutes until fully melted.
At this stage, if you wish to have a thinner sauce, you can stir through 2 – 4 tbsp of almond milk (or even water) until the cheese sauce is to your desired thickness. Also optional: season the sauce with salt & pepper (keep in mind the bacon is salty).
5.) Pour all that cheesy goodness over the roasted veggies….
6.) … and top with the remaining shredded mozzarella and cheddar!
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and slightly golden on top. Before serving, sprinkle the lot with cracked black pepper and 1 tsp of freshly chopped chives.
Recipe tips and variations
I think roasting the cauliflower and broccoli is absolutely essential to the recipe. Not only does it give the veggies a nuttier taste and better texture, you also avoid smelling out your kitchen. Boiled cauliflower can taste dull and watery – I avoid boiling it unless I want to use it in cauliflower mash, when I mix it with sour cream, cheese and spices.
The broccoli in the recipe is optional. If you are not a broccoli person, by all means, replace it with more cauliflower. I think the two make a good pair and enjoy the different tastes and a glimpse of green here and there.
Did you notice I sneaked in some crispy bacon? Everything tastes better with a sprinkling of crispy salty bacon! It’s optional, of course. You can make this Keto mac and cheese vegetarian by simply leaving out the bacon. In this case, definitely add additional salt to the sauce.
If you’re looking for a twist, you could season the sauce with grated nutmeg – it works exceedingly well with cauliflower and cheese sauces.
We love to serve this as a side with a roast on Sundays, but I’m known to devour it as a main course for lunch, too!
Don’t miss these easy low carb comfort food recipes:
- Best Italian Keto Meatballs
- Low Carb Keto Turkey Chili Recipe
- Chicken Green Curry Recipe
- Keto Roast Chicken Soup
Tried this low carb mac and cheese? Give it a star rating below!
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 1 large cauliflower florets only (600g)
- 2 small heads of broccoli florets only (315g)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of salt
- 6 small slices of streaky bacon 90g
Cheese Sauce and Cheese Topping
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1.5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup / 240ml heavy/double cream
- 3/4 cup / 90g shredded mozzarella
- 2/3 cup / 150g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup / 60g shredded cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C /180 fan.
- Place the cauliflower and broccoli florets on a non stick baking tray and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the chopped bacon and bake for a further 20 minutes until cooked and the broccoli slightly crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a sauce pan heat the butter and garlic over medium heat.
- Cook until the garlic starts to become fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add heavy/double cream, 1/2 cup (60g) of mozzarella, cream cheese, and 1/2 of the cheddar cheese. Stir until melted using a hand whisk and then simmer on a low heat for about 2 minutes until fully melted. Stir through 2 - 4 tbsp of almond milk (or water) if you prefer a thinner sauce.
- Add the broccoli, cauliflower and bacon to a baking dish. Pour over the cheese sauce and top with the remaining cheddar and mozzarella.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and slightly golden on top.
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