Love mac and cheese but trying to avoid the carbs? My Low Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Jalapenos will satisfy your cravings without knocking you out of ketosis–and with no pasta for a lovely, gluten-free side dish.
The BEST Keto Cauliflower Mac n Cheese Recipe
I know there are a lot Low Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipes out there. So what makes mine a great version?
Well, let’s see.
- It’s a perfect keto side dish.
- It’s ooey, and gooey and cheesy.
- It tastes a lot like mac and cheese. I mean it’s not exactly like pasta of course. But it’s delicious.
- It’s all made in one pan on the stovetop.
- It’s gluten-free.
- It’s basically got 6 ingredients in it.
- It’s keto. But wait! there’s more!
- It’s got BACON. That’s not all.
- It has JALAPENOS! And as if that weren’t enough?
- It’s ready in under 30 minutes.
And that, my friends, is why this is the best Keto mac and cheese recipe out there, in my humble opinion anyway. (Well, okay, maybe not that humble. But true!)
How good am I to you??
How to Make Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Jalapenos
I am just waiting for the day when people turn cauliflower into keto wine. Or a cake that actually tastes like cake.
But until then, I have found other creative, low carb cauliflower recipes to make.
- Using a 10 or 12 inch saucepan with a lid, start browning the bacon. While it browns, you can get your other ingredients together.
- 2. Add in the JalapeÃ±os and cook for a little while.
- 3. Mix the cauliflower, cheese, half and half and seasonings. Don’t worry about everything mixing well. Once the cheese heats, it will mix in just fine.
- 4. Pour the mixture into the pan to cook. Cover with a lid.
- 5. And there you are. You can sprinkle a little extra cheese on top and broil if you prefer.
Keto Comfort Foods
I asked people in my TwoSleevers Facebook group what foods they considered comfort foods. Ooey, gooey, cheesy casseroles seemed to be at the top of the list for most folks.
Paradoxically, those are also the things that people struggle to make into keto casseroles.
If you can’t use cream of something soup, and you can’t use flour, how is one supposed to make a keto casserole?
I’ll tell you how.
With lots of yummy cheese, heavy whipping cream, and other keto-friendly goodies.
Not only do they taste good, but they are keto, and because of all the fat in them, they tend to be very satisfying.
By the way, I have another Instant Pot Cauliflower and Cheese recipe that is very popular, in case you’re interested in that one.
But in this case, I wanted something with even more flavor. And I wanted it fast. Enter bacon and jalapeno.
I hope the pictures above help you see how easy it is to make this great keto side dish. As I said earlier, the whole shebang cooks in less than 30 minutes and it’s definitely something everyone will enjoy
How spicy is this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese dish?
Well, you know, it’s all about the jalapeÃ±os. Those suckers can be deceptive. They all look the same, but some of them definitely pack a bigger punch than others.
I have a ridiculous but failproof way to tell which ones are too spicy and which ones aren’t spicy enough.
Eat a little bit of each of them when raw.
I know, I know, it sounds crazy. But if you want your low carb cauliflower mac and cheese to taste well-flavored but not crazy spicy, it’s worth the nibble or two to be sure you won’t be burning the roof off someone’s mouth.
When I made this, with the proportions specified below, I could taste the jalapeno, but the dish was not spicy.
I think all that cream and cheese and whatnot offset some of the heat.
Looking for more great low carb alternative recipes? Check out my Cauliflower Breadsticks! They’re so good you won’t even notice that they aren’t real bread!
Another fantastic keto substitute recipe is my Pecan Chicken Tenders recipe. They’re every bit as delicious as breaded chicken tenders without all of the carbs!
And if you’re looking for more great comfort food recipes (and don’t mind the carbs), check out my Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice!
I am pleased to tell you that this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe with bacon and jalapenos absolutely hit the spot and gave me all the flavor I was hoping for!
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- In a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat, start cooking the bacon. While the bacon cooks, in a large bowl mix together cauliflower, cream cheese, whipping cream, shredded cheese, salt, pepper. You do not need to get a homogenous mixture just mix it up as well as you can. Once the cheeses melt, it will be a lot easier to get an even mixture.
- When the bacon is cooked, about 8-10 minutes, put in the jalapeÃ±os and sauté for one minute.
- Add the cauliflower mixture stir well, place a lid. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Stir once again.
- You could also choose to microwave the bacon, put everything into a sprayed 8 x 8 baking dish, and bake at 3:50 for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use ready-made riced frozen cauliflower. Set it out as you begin to gather ingredients. Don’t worry if it isn’t fully thawed. You will just have to cook a little longer at step 3.
- Double the recipe. Cook one batch now, and freeze the other. Thaw and bake as specified.
- You can freeze this recipe easily.
- If you’re avoiding pork and bacon, use turkey bacon.