8 net carbs

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage

This low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese with smoked sausage is a delicious and healthy twist on a classic comfort food.

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Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage

Low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese with smoked sausages in a black skillet.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage [Keto]

Total Diabetes Wellness
This low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese with smoked sausage is a delicious alternative to traditional mac and cheese. Made with cauliflower instead of traditional pasta, this recipe is a great option for those following a low-carb or keto diet. The addition of smoked sausage adds a smoky, savory flavor that complements the creamy cheese sauce perfectly. This dish is easy to make and is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Lunch and Dinner, Veggies and Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Net Carbs 8 g
*Net carbs are per serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 14 ounces smoked sausage, sliced
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
  • cup pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/177C.
    Close-up view of temperature knob on an oven, preheat oven to cook a meal.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and boil for 5 minutes.
    Top view of stainless steel saucepan cooking chopped cauliflower in boiling water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large oven-safe skillet, brown the sausages (medium heat). Once cooked, transfer to a plate.
    Top view of skillet cooking sliced smoked sausages.
  • Drain the water from the cauliflower. Return cauliflower to saucepan and place over low heat.
    Top view of cooked chopped cauliflower in a stainless steel saucepan.
  • Add heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, and the Cajun seasoning. Stir often until the cheese has melted and everything is well combined.
    Top view of saucepan with chopped cauliflower and rich cheesy sauce.
  • Transfer cheesy cauliflower to the skillet used to cook the sausages. Add the sausages and gently stir to combine.
    Top view of skillet with smoked sausages, cauliflower and melted cheese sauce.
  • Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese over the top.
    Top view of skillet with smoked sausages, cauliflower and cheese sauce, topped with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling. Enjoy!
    Top view of cauliflower mac and cheese with smoked sausages out of the oven and ready to serve.

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Nutrition

 

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Keywords keto cauliflower mac and cheese, keto mac and cheese, low-carb mac and cheese, low-carb sausage mac and cheese
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Photos of Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage

Notes

Recipe Variations

  • Meat substitutions – This recipe can use any type of smoked sausage. You can also use uncooked sausages if you’d prefer. Simply cook the sausages first, then slice and sear the sausage slices.
  • Spice substitutions – Not a fan of Cajun seasoning? Not to worry! You can season this recipe any way you’d like. Feel free to experiment with your favorite seasonings. We’ve tried many spice variations and haven’t tried one we didn’t like.

Cooking Cauliflower

Make sure your cauliflower is only boiling for 5 minutes. Any longer, your cauliflower will be very soft, and the finished texture of your dish won’t be as nice. Boiling it for 5 minutes slightly undercooks the cauliflower, which gives it an al dente texture.

Serving Suggestions

This cauliflower mac and cheese with sausage recipe can be enjoyed as a main dish for lunch or dinner, or as a side dish. The serving size for this recipe is for a main dish. If you’re serving this recipe as a side dish, you should get about six servings from this recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this taste like traditional mac and cheese?

In short, no. If you’re expecting this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe to replicate exactly the taste of noodles in cheese, you will likely be disappointed. However, if you try this recipe with an open mind, we think you’ll be blown away by the delicious, rich flavor and won’t miss the heavy pasta in traditional mac and cheese. The Cajun spices add a great flavor depth, as does the smoked sausages (or sausages of choice). This recipe is a great choice to enjoy delicious cheesy flavors without the carbs and gluten!

Can I use frozen cauliflower?

We recommend using fresh cauliflower. Frozen cauliflower can sometimes be waterlogged and have a mushy texture. If using frozen cauliflower, we recommend placing the cooked cauliflower between paper towels and pressing out excess water. Then return to your saucepan and add the cheeses and spices.

Is this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe Keto?

Yes! With 8 grams of net carbs per serving, this recipe is Keto. If you’re eating strict Keto, you need to pay attention to the brand of sausages you use. Check the ingredients; some sausages have added sugar and extra carbs. Be sure to pick a brand of sausage that doesn’t have added sugar and is low in carbs.

Is cauliflower mac and cheese and sausage gluten-free?

Yes, this cauliflower mac and cheese recipe is gluten-free.

Storage and Reheating Guidelines

  • Make-ahead: You can make this recipe 1-2 days ahead of time and store it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When making this recipe ahead, we recommend assembling it up until the final baking steps. Then, when ready to eat, bake your dish. This will ensure everything is heated evenly, and the cheese on the top will be golden.
  • Storing leftovers: Store leftover cauliflower mac and cheese with sausages in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing instructions: This recipe doesn’t freeze as well as we’d like. The texture of the cauliflower changes when thawed, and the cheese sauce sometimes breaks down and isn’t as nice. For these reasons, we don’t recommend this cauliflower mac and cheese as a freezer meal.
  • To reheat: Reheat cauliflower mac and cheese with sausages in the oven, toaster oven, or in the microwave.

Additional Details

Indulging in comfort food while maintaining a low-carb lifestyle can be challenging, but fear not! We have an incredibly tasty solution: cauliflower mac and cheese with sausage. This delightful recipe offers all the creamy, cheesy goodness of traditional mac and cheese, but with a healthy twist. Loaded with nutritious cauliflower and flavorful sausage, this low-carb version will satisfy your cravings while keeping your blood sugar levels in check.

Why Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that has gained popularity in recent years thanks to its low-carb content and numerous health benefits. It is an excellent substitute for high-carb ingredients like pasta in this mac and cheese recipe. Cauliflower is rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants, making it a fantastic addition to a diabetic diet. You can enjoy a lower-carb alternative without sacrificing taste or texture by incorporating cauliflower into this dish.

Flavorful Smoked Sausage

Adding sausage to this cauliflower mac and cheese not only enhances the flavor but also provides an excellent source of protein. Opt for high-quality, lean sausage that is low in added sugars and sodium. You can choose from a variety of sausage options, such as chicken, turkey, or pork, depending on your preference. Sausage brings a savory and satisfying element to the dish, balancing the creamy cheese sauce with its robust taste.

How to Cook Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage

Preparing the Cauliflower

  • Start by cutting a head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • Steam the cauliflower until tender yet slightly firm. This will help retain its shape and texture in the final dish.
  • Drain the cauliflower and set it aside while preparing the cheese sauce.

Making the Cheese Sauce

  • Follow the instructions on the recipe card to make the delicious, creamy cheese sauce.
  • Incorporate a dash of spices like nutmeg or paprika to elevate the sauce’s flavor profile.

Cooking the Sausage

  • In a separate pan, cook the sausage according to the recipe’s instructions.
  • Aim for a golden-brown color on the sausage, ensuring it’s fully cooked and flavorful.

Combining the Ingredients

  • Gently fold the cooked sausage and cauliflower into the cheese sauce.
  • Ensure that the cheese sauce coats the cauliflower and sausage evenly.

Serving Suggestions

  • Transfer the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage to a serving dish.
  • Sprinkle fresh herbs like parsley or chives on top to add a pop of color and freshness.
  • For added crunch, you can top the dish with a sprinkle of low-carb breadcrumbs or crushed pork rinds before baking or broiling.

Health Benefits for People with Diabetes

This low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese with sausage is not only incredibly delicious but also offers several benefits for individuals with diabetes:

Blood Sugar Management

  • By replacing high-carb pasta with cauliflower, this recipe significantly reduces the overall carbohydrate content.
  • The cauliflower’s fiber content helps slow down the digestion process, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

Satiety and Weight Management

  • The combination of cauliflower, sausage, and cheese provides a satisfying meal that helps keep you fuller for longer.
  • The protein from the sausage promotes satiety and helps regulate appetite, supporting weight management goals.

Improved Nutrient Intake

  • Cauliflower is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit overall health.
  • The inclusion of lean sausage contributes to the protein content of the dish, aiding in muscle maintenance and repair.

Variations of Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage

Broccoli and Bacon Twist

  • Substitute broccoli for cauliflower for a change of flavors and added nutritional benefits.
  • Steam or blanch the broccoli florets until tender-crisp, then proceed with the recipe as usual.
  • Instead of sausage, try adding crispy bacon bits for a smoky and savory twist.

Spicy Kick with Jalapeños

  • If you enjoy a bit of heat, consider adding sliced jalapeños to the dish.
  • Roast or sauté the jalapeños before incorporating them into the recipe to bring out their flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of jalapeños based on your spice tolerance for a customized zesty experience.

Veggie Power with Mushrooms and Spinach

  • Boost the veggie content and add extra depth of flavor by including sautéed mushrooms and wilted spinach.
  • Sauté sliced mushrooms with garlic and butter until they release their moisture and become golden brown.
  • Wilt a handful of fresh spinach in the same pan until it wilts down.
  • Mix the mushrooms and spinach into the cheese sauce, along with the cauliflower and sausage.

Italian Twist with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Italian Herbs

  • Give your cauliflower mac and cheese an Italian flair with sun-dried tomatoes and Italian seasoning.
  • Chop a few sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the dish for a burst of tanginess and depth.
  • Sprinkle Italian herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme into the cheese sauce for a delightful Mediterranean touch.

Mexican-inspired with Salsa and Guacamole

  • Infuse some Mexican flavors into the dish by incorporating salsa and guacamole.
  • Mix your favorite salsa into the cheese sauce to add a hint of spiciness and acidity.
  • Serve the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Sausage with a dollop of fresh guacamole for creaminess and a burst of flavor.

Dairy-Free Option

  • For those with lactose intolerance or following a dairy-free diet, you can still enjoy this recipe.
  • Substitute dairy-free cheese alternatives made from ingredients like almond milk or coconut milk.
  • Use nutritional yeast as a flavorful dairy-free alternative for the cheesy taste.

Storage Instructions

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply place the desired portion in the microwave or bake it in the oven until heated through. Remember to cover the dish with foil to prevent excessive browning.

Cauliflower mac and cheese with sausage is a remarkable low-carb alternative to traditional mac and cheese, providing a delicious, comforting meal for those following a diabetic-friendly diet. You can enjoy the flavors and textures you love while keeping your blood sugar levels stable by using cauliflower as a substitute for high-carb pasta. Including sausage adds a savory kick and boosts the protein content of the dish. So, gather your ingredients, whip up this fantastic recipe, and savor the goodness of guilt-free indulgence!

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Top view of low-carb cauliflower mac and cheese with sausage, served and ready to eat!

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