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CHIPOTLE CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER “MAC AND CHEESE”

Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese” is made with roasted cauliflower that’s tossed in a smoky, creamy cheddar cheese sauce. It can be enjoyed as a keto, gluten free main dish or side.

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Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower Mac and Cheese in a bowl on a wood background with a fork and red and white napkin in the background

I got the idea to make this recipe for Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower “Mac and Cheese” from the simple fact that spicy and cheesy are one of the best combinations ever. And, if you’ve been around here before, you know I have a thing for cauliflower.

I actually found my original cauliflower mac and cheese recipe written on a tiny post-it note in an envelope in a binder two days after I made this recipe. I’ll share that one soon, but trust me, if you like spicy food, you will love this recipe.

Tender, roasted cauliflower florets are tossed with a rich, spicy cheese sauce that is out-of-this-world delicious. It’s a feel good, warm, satisfying comfort food recipe, for sure.

This recipe calls for chipotle chili powder, rather than canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Both have a smoky, spicy flavor that pairs exceptionally well with sweet and creamy flavors.

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Why This Recipe Works

This is a quick and easy recipe that can be served as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish. It takes just 25 minutes to make and only 10 ingredients most of which are pantry staples.

It’s creamy, spicy, and indulgent but without the guilt.

With only 6 net carbs per serving, this recipe is low carb, keto friendly, and gluten free.

How To Make Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower

Ingredients

Ingredients to make chipotle cheddar cauliflower on a white background with labels
  • Shred the cheddar cheese from a block for the best texture and melting. Pre-shredded bagged cheeses have added starches in them which can result in a grainy cheese sauce when melted.
  • Green onion or parsley can be added as an optional garnish.

The entire recipe and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. You can also print the recipe from the card, if needed.

Prep!

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Cut the cauliflower into florets and shred the cheese.

Create!

There are just three parts to this recipe. Steps 2 and 3 can be done while the cauliflower is roasting to save time.

  1. Roast the cauliflower until fork tender.
  2. Make the toasted almond flour crumbs.
  3. Make the cheese sauce.
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Present!

Overhead view of chipotle cheddar cauliflower mac and cheese on a wood backdrop with a fork and towel next to it

Toss the roasted cauliflower in the cheese sauce, then garnish with the almond flour crumbs and green onions or parsley.

Tips and Techniques

  • Shred the cheese from a block for the best texture and melting.
  • You can adjust the recipe to be as spicy as you like. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder if you prefer the dish to be more mild and gradually add more, as desired.
  • Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days.

FAQ’s

What Is In Chipotle Chili Powder?

Chipotle chili powder is made by grinding dried chipotle chili peppers into a powder. It can be bought in the spice section of most grocery stores.

What Can I Use In Place Of Chipotle Chili Powder?

If you still want a smoky flavor, but without the heat, you can use smoked paprika in place of chipotle chili powder. If you want the dish to be spicy, you can add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper.

Can You Freeze Cauliflower Mac and Cheese?

The simple answer is yes, cauliflower mac and cheese can be frozen. However, the sauce may separate when thawed and reheated. Simply stir it well after baking to bring it back together.

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CHIPOTLE CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER “MAC AND CHEESE”

Chipotle Cheddar Cauliflower is made with roasted cauliflower that’s tossed in a smoky, creamy cheddar cheese sauce. It can be enjoyed as a keto, gluten free main dish or side. 

  • Author: Admin
  • Prep Time: 10 MINUTES
  • Cook Time: 15 MINUTES
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 SERVINGS 1x
Scale

Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large head cauliflower * cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Toasted Almond Flour Crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

Chipotle Cheddar Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder * see notes
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese * shredded, I use sharp
  • green onions or parsley * optional, garnish

Instructions

Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and spread out onto a sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast for 15 minutes, tossing half way through, or until fork-tender.

Toasted Almond Flour Crumbs

  1. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the almond flour crumbs. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet, then add the almond flour. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan to cool.

Chipotle Cheddar Sauce

  1. Melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in cream cheese and heavy cream until melted and hot. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chipotle chili powder and cheddar cheese until well combined.
  2. Once the cauliflower is done roasting, add it to the saucepan with the cheese sauce and toss to combine.
  3. Serve topped with the almond flour crumbs and a garnish of sliced green onions or parsley, if desired.
 

Notes

  • Shred the cheese from a block for the best texture and melting.
  • You can adjust the recipe to be as spicy as you like. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder if you prefer the dish to be more mild and gradually add more, as desired.
  • Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days.

** Nutritional information is an estimate and may vary. For this recipe, 1 serving is approximately 1 cup of cauliflower florets + 1/4 of the cheese sauce.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 439kcal
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 545mg
  • Fat: 41g
  • Saturated Fat: 22g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 114mg
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