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Low Carb and Keto Friendly Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Low Carb and Keto Friendly Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon

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This cauliflower mac and cheese with bacon recipe is not only low carb and keto friendly, but it will quickly become a family favorite side dish! 

My husband was smoking a pork loin for dinner and I wanted to make something that was low carb and keto friendly to go with the pork. I had been wanting to try to make mock mac and cheese with cauliflower. So, I did what I always do and I searched Pinterest for “keto mac and cheese” and “low carb mac and cheese”.

My search lead me to a number a recipes, including this recipe from Food Network and this one from Keto Connect  and, of course, this one from the Atkins website and, finally, this recipe from one of my favorite keto friendly recipe blogs, All Day I Dream About Food (What a great name, right?!). 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe by The Birch Cottage

Armed with a variety of recipes, I determined they all pretty much had the same basic ingredients: cauliflower and some kind of cheese sauce. Since we were having pork, I thought the addition of bacon seemed befitting. Besides, when you have an opportunity to add bacon to a recipe, you just do, right?!

The addition of the bacon was amazing! I’m so glad I decided to add the bacon. It added the yummy smoky flavor and little bits of bacon helped to add a little more texture. I’m a big onion fan and usually I opt to add onion whenever possible, but for some reason, I didn’t add onion to my keto cauliflower mac and cheese with bacon. But, I definitely added the bacon.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe by The Birch Cottage

Even my husband loved this keto cauliflower mac and cheese with bacon. He commented a couple of times while eating dinner just how good the cauliflower dish tasted! That’s a win in my book! And you know what else? It was the perfect compliment to our smoked pork loin.

Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe by The Birch Cottage

This keto cauliflower mac and cheese with bacon recipe involves a few steps, but you’re really using one pot to cook the cauliflower, bacon and prepare the cheese sauce. Then everything is poured into a casserole dish or cast iron skillet and baked for about 15 minutes. I then placed my casserole under the broiler for a couple of minutes because we like the cheese to be a little browned.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe by The Birch Cottage

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This cauliflower mac and cheese with bacon recipe is not only low carb and keto friendly, but it will quickly become a family favorite side dish! 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 ounces grated cheddar cheese plus extra for topping
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut cauliflower into florets and place into a large pot with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is just tender. 
  2. Drain cauliflower well. Return to warm empty large pot for a few minutes to allow more moisture to be drawn out by the heat of the pot. Drain cauliflower again. 
  3. Add bacon to the pot and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pot. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  5. Add garlic to the bacon grease in the large pot and sauté for about a minute, then add the heavy whipping cream. Heat cream to a simmer and add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until melted.
  6. Remove pot with cheese mixture from the heat and whisk in xanthan gum until combined well. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Using your fingers or a fork, shred cauliflower into small macaroni sized pieces. Pour cauliflower into a casserole dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle bacon on top of cauliflower. Pour cheese sauce evenly over the cauliflower. 
  8. Bake until bubbly and browned on top, or for about 15-20 minutes. 
  9. Optional: Add additional shredded cheese to top and place under the broiler for just a couple of minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g

This is one of those recipes that actually tastes as good, if not better, than it looks. If I had never eaten regular old macaroni and cheese before, I would swear this is “the stuff.” So much better than bland pasta!

If you’ve been on the fence about substituting cauliflower for pasta or rice, you’ve just really gotta try this Low Carb and Keto Friendly Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon recipe.

Seriously.

Go make some and come back here and thank me.

I’ll be waiting.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe by The Birch Cottage

More Keto Recipes

I’m sure you’re gonna love this recipe and, if you do, be sure to try these other low carb and keto friendly recipes here on The Birch Cottage blog:

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon Recipe by The Birch Cottage

Til next time…

Pam Baker from The Birch Cottage

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