Aug 02, 2021 2 min read

Comfort food on a diet? Yes, please! In the midst of a stressful day and on a low-carb or weight loss diet, you may be craving comfort food. This recipe can hit the spot, as it is creamy and has the textures and taste of pasta, but it is low in carbs, high in nutrition, and easy to cook.

You can make low-carb mac 'n' cheese with just cauliflower, but it may not have quite the same appeal as when it actually has pasta. Using Great Low Carb Pasta - Elbows in addition to cauliflower lets you get the texture and taste of pasta while keeping the carbohydrates low. Each serving of the pasta has 7 grams of net carbohydrates, including 25 grams total carbohydrates and 18 grams of dietary fiber. Cauliflower adds fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. 

You can use your favorite cheeses in this recipe. It calls for sharp cheddar and parmesan cheeses, but blue cheese, swiss cheese, asiago, and pecorino are all good possibilities. They get pureed with the cauliflower, garlic, onions, and spices for a creamy, tasty sauce for the pasta.

The panko breadcrumbs add great texture to contrast with the creaminess of the cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese, but they also add carbs. If you are on a very low-carbohydrate diet and cannot afford the panko breadcrumbs, you can try a lower-carb alternative, such as crumbs from low-carb bread, or pork rind panko.

Recipe for Mac 'n' Cheese with Low-Carb Elbows and Cauliflower 

Makes 4 generous servings 

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Great Low-Carb Pasta - Elbows 
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 
  • 4 cups of cauliflower pieces, about 1 medium head
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt 
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) of grated sharp cheddar
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • ¼ teaspoon of paprika
  • Pinch of mustard powder
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • (Optional) 1 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs or ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Spray or oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish. 
  2. Cook the Great Low-Carb Pasta - Elbows according to the package directions. Bring water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook for up to 10 minutes or until nearly al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a large pot. Add 3 cups of water and the cauliflower, garlic, and onion and cook over medium heat until they are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. 
  4. Add the vegetables, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, paprika, and mustard powder to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. You may need to add small amounts of cooking water as you go.
  5. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir it. Pour it into the baking pan or dish.
  6. Stir together the olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs, if using, in a bowl.
  7. Sprinkle the mixture over the pasta mixture.
  8. Bake until the breadcrumb mixture is crispy, about 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
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