If you haven’t noticed, cauliflower is a regular guest in my recipes as an awesome low-carb swap for rice and potatoes. But what if I told you that it also makes an awesome swap for mac and cheese? Well, that’s exactly what I’m touting.
Comfort Food at it’s Prime
Though cauliflower florets aren’t an exact dupe for noodles, they make for a super satisfying low-carb alternative that is just asking to be smothered in cheese sauce. And Sausage. And Kale. I know, I had to sneak some green in there! Trust me friends, this Cauliflower Mac & Cheese with Kale and Sausage is comfort food at it’s prime.
Do you love cheese as much as I do? I hope so because this recipe has a ton of it. I’m talking about a cheese sauce made from multiple kinds of cheese and if that wasn’t enough, more cheese on top. If you’d prefer to focus on the veggies, this dish is packed with both cauliflower and kale. Do you feel less guilty now?
Ok, probably not.
To top it off, this dish is also chock full of sausage. This is a totally optional addition. If you’d rather keep this Cauliflower Mac & Cheese vegetarian, it is awesome sans meat. But, I figure if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly.
A note for special diets
This Cauliflower Mac & Cheese is grain-free, gluten-free and fits Keto diets. In order to make this dish SIBO friendly, it’s important that you choose lactose-free dairy products. Traditional cream cheese is not super SIBO friendly, so I swap it for Lactose-Free Cream Cheese from Green Valley Organics. If you’re not worried about a little lactose, regular cream cheese works identically so go ahead and use it. For the shredded cheese, I make this with cheddar to keep the lactose in trace amounts (less than 0.5g lactose). My favorite option is Tillamook Triple Cheddar because I figure when you’re making Cauliflower Mac & Cheese, the more types of cheddar the merrier. If lactose isn’t an issue for you, mozzarella cheese is also great in this.Print
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 cups Lacinato kale, chopped
- 3 bratwurst sausages – or – 1 1/2lbs ground sausage
- 8 oz cream cheese (we use Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free)
- 3/4 cup whole milk (we use lactose-free)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (we use Green Valley Organics Lactose-Free)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 cups shredded cheese, divided (I like to use a mix of medium and sharp cheddar, but you can also mix in mozzarella if the lactose doesn’t bother you)
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
- Lightly oil or butter a 4 1/2 qt baking dish and add cauliflower florets and kale. Set to the side.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tsp butter or ghee to melt. Add sausages links to brown turning on each side every ~2 minutes. The sausage does not need to be fully cooked through, you just want to get a nice brown on the outside. Remove from heat, slice into 1/2 inch coins, and reserve to the side. (Alternatively, if you are using ground sausage, brown the sausage, drain excess fat, and reserve sausage to the side).
- In the same saucepan, lower heat to medium-low and add cream cheese, milk, sour cream, Dijon, green onions, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir until melted and combined.
- Slowly add 2 cups of the shredded cheese, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each until fully combined.
- Once sauce is fully combined and smooth, pour over the top of the cauliflower and kale mixture and add sausage. Fold ingredients until well-coated.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cups of cheese on top and place in oven to bake for 40 minutes. I like to cover the dish for the first 20 minutes and then remove the cover for the final 20 to allow the cheese to brown a bit.
- I highly recommend letting the dish sit for atleast 10 minutes after removing from the oven. The cauliflower is not only blisteringly hot straight from the oven, but I like to give the sauce some time to thicken as it cools slightly.
- Serving Size: 1 portion
- Calories: 617
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 1062 mg
- Fat: 52 g
- Saturated Fat: 29 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 25 g
- Cholesterol: 159 mg