Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin

Do you love “comfort food?” Who doesn’t! I am sure that at the top of any “comfort food” list you will find “Mac N Cheese.” After all, we all grew up enjoying Mac N Cheese. Maybe it was homemade and delicious and maybe it was out of a box – yuk! Our new low-carb lifestyle means changes in diet and the macaroni shells in this dish are a “no no.” We have the answer – our Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin!

The three cheese blend melted together and thickened with an almond flour roux will add just the right flavor and texture. It is a perfect side dish to compliment any meal. Joanie makes a superb breaded pork chop using chicharrones for crumbs and baked to perfection. That was our choice last night. The pork chop can be seen in our “Easy-Peasy Creamed Spinach” recipe. We will post that recipe soon – so check back often.

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Joanie finds many of our plates and bowls at her favorite store (The Gold Mine). She loves this antique hand painted casserole baking dish, from Portugal. It is as comfortable as the recipe.


The three-cheese blend consists of Gruyere, Cheddar, and Parmesan. We use equal parts of Gruyere and Cheddar and a smaller amount of grated Parmesan. The Parmesan has a stronger nutty flavor and the other cheeses melt so well and are so creamy. You can choose your own cheeses and if Gruyere is not handy, feel free to use a good Swiss cheese. Our Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin is just like Mac N Cheese – adopt your favorite recipe!

For thickening the sauce our roux is a simple blend of almond flour and butter. You can use coconut flour if you prefer – anything but wheat flour. Remember it is all about the low-carb lifestyle. You can also use Xanthan Gum as a thickening agent.

We toasted our “Soul Bread” crumbs with butter and smoked paprika, but, as we mentioned, chicharrones will also work well. This will give your Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin a little crunch on top. Some recipes add broccoli or bacon on top, and although we love bacon on anything, we like the cheese to take “center stage” in this recipe.

Preparation Tips

My comment about boxed Mac N Cheese made me think of a tip that applies not only to this cheesy delight, but also to any recipe calling for cheese. Grate your own! Pre-packaged shredded cheeses contain fillers to avoid clumping and they add carbs that are not needed. Fresh is always better.

Do not over-cook your cauliflower. Al dente is perfect. Remember it will be baking in the oven and you do not want your cauliflower to be mushy and tasteless. A final tip would be to make sure all of the lumps are out of your thickening roux. Whisking vigorously is necessary to make a smooth sauce.

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Cauliflower Au Gratin – Tastes Like Mac N Cheese – Creamy and Delicious!

Our Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin is the perfect side dish with pork, roasted chicken, or ham. We have a delicious meatloaf recipe that would be great when paired with this recipe. It can also serve as a casserole for your perfectly planned summer picnic, with a burger or a hot dog! Regardless of your “comfort food” companion, we know you will soon crave this Cauliflower Au Gratin as your “go to” side dish. It is Tasty Low Carb, for sure!

Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin

4 from 58 votes
Recipe by Joanie and Chris Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Net Carbs


Total time



Low Carb Cauliflower Au Gratin is for you If you miss Mac N Cheese you will love this side dish. Three creamy delicious cheeses poured over low-carb cauliflower – yum! If you are looking for a perfect Holiday side – this is for you!

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  • 1 head 1 head cauliflower cut into small florets

  • 4 tablespoons 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons almond flour

  • 8 ounces 227 ml heavy cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon pepper to taste

  • 2 cups 264 g Gruyere cheese grated and divided

  • 2 cups 226 g Cheddar cheese grated and divided

  • 4 ounces 113 g Parmesan cheese grated

  • 4 ounces 113 g Soul bread crumbs for topping

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 2 stalks 2 stalks green onions sliced


  • Blanch cauliflower florets for 5 minutes in pot of salted water, over medium-high heat. Drain thoroughly and place in a buttered casserole dish.
  • Melt two tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add almond flour and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes to make a roux.
  • Pour in heavy cream, bring to a simmer, whisk constantly until sauce thickens and there are no lumps (about 10 minutes).
  • Lower the heat, add salt and pepper and onion powder and taste (adjust as needed). Add 1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese, and all of the parmesan and stir until melted (approximately 2 minutes).
  • Pour the sauce over the cauliflower in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining Gruyere and Cheddar cheese over the top.
  • Melt two tablespoons of butter, add the soul bread crumbs and smoked paprika and stir until combined and coated.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until browned. Remove and top with sliced green onions to garnish.


Chef’s Notes

  • You can substitute Swiss cheese for Gruyere – it is easier to find. Also, if you do not have Soul bread handy for crumbs, just use Chicharrone crumbs.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 482.5kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 5.4g
  • Protein: 24.2g
  • Fat: 40.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 24.3g
  • Cholesterol: 121.3mg
  • Sodium: 794.8mg
  • Potassium: 313.3mg
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Vitamin A: 1250IU
  • Vitamin C: 22.3mg
  • Calcium: 742.9mg
  • Iron: 0.4mg

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  1. Patrick Kelly

    Can the recipe be fully baked and then reheated?

    • Joanie and Chris

      You can reheat my recipe. However, the cauliflower will not be the same texture and cheeses can separate when reheating. Freshly made is best, but having some left to be reheated in a hot oven for a few minutes can be done. Hope you like my creation . . . Joanie.

  2. Avantika Mcbryde

    Hi ,can this recipe be prep ahead and bake next day.
    Thanks 😊

    • Joanie and Chris

      You can certainly prep the cauliflower in advance, but I would hesitate on creating a cream sauce in advance. You might find separation the next day, and that would impact the dish. I have not tried it as a pre-prep recipe. The instructions in the recipe card are as I made it originally, and have done so, often. I do hope you try the recipe. It is one of my favorites . . . Joanie.

  3. Lucinda Wales

    Hi, this sounds soooooo yummy, and I have all ingredients ready to make this. I just have a question first though. Of the 8 cups of Gruyere and Cheddar cheese, only 1 cup gets added to the sauce (1/2 cup Gruyere, 1/2 cup Cheddar). So that means using the remaining 7 cups of cheese as a topping, right?

    • Joanie and Chris

      I used 1/2 cup of Gruyere and 1/2 cup of the Cheddar with all of the parmesan in the sauce. Then the 1 1/2 cups of Gruyere and 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar for the topping. Adjust it to your taste – it should be delicious, it is one of our main sides. Let me know how it works for you. Thanks for the comment . . . Joanie.

  4. Denise Stark

    Is this really 2# of cheese?

    • Joanie and Chris

      Yes, the creamy cheese is delicious in this recipe, and needed. You can substitute chicharron crumbs for the soul bread bread crumbs to make the recipe easier. I hope you enjoy my Cauliflower A=au Gratin . . . Joanie.

  5. Great recipe !!! My kids and husband loved it…

  6. Just came across this recipe, and tried it out. The taste was absolutely incredible but when I took it out of the oven it had a very watery texture, I assume from the liquids released from cooking the cheese. Is there anything I can do to prevent it coming out like this? Many thanks, and congrats on a great recipe.

    • Joanie and Chris

      I have never had that problem. The cheese is not likely the culprit. I would make sure that the cauliflower is drained thoroughly. I usually allow it to dry well, and even patting may help. Cauliflower can hold and give off water. I hope you try again and enjoy the recipe and others on our site. Thanks . . . Joanie.

  7. Just came across your website and love it! Can you tell me what the nutritional value would be if I do not add the 4 oz soul bread?

    • Joan and Chris

      We are happy that you found our site. The Soul Bread crumbs are actually very little since it is only a few ounces. By eliminating them you will not change the flavor that much, it will still be a great Mac-n-Cheese. You would reduce your carbs by about 0.5g and the calories by about 60 if you eliminate the bread crumbs. We just happened to have them on hand, but the taste will be great if you skip them. Let us know how you like the recipe and please troll the site for more Tasty Low Carb recipe. Thanks for the comment . . . Joanie.

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