Cooking with Joy

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I had to make 2 batches of this side dish. There were no leftovers. My family loved it. I love how versatile it is. You can change and adapt the seasonings to fit your eating plan or entre. Omit the paprika if you are oxalate sensitive. I have added an egg or two in the past to increase our protein intake.

I start the dish in my largest cast iron skillet on the stove and transfer to the oven to finish. I am fortunate to have inherited my mother's, grandmother's and mother in law's cast iron. Some of my pans are over 100 years old. My daughter will add them to her own collection in time.

If your skillet or pan is not oven safe then you can bake in a casserole dish after the cream cheese is thoroughly melted and mixed.

Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C)

Start by adding the butter and olive oil to the skillet and sauté the cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice has a lot of moisture so I cook on low for 25-30 minutes to draw out as much moisture as I can without losing the nutrients from squeezing it out and without burning the rice. You want the rice to start to get a golden crusty bottom, but not burn.

Add in whatever seasonings match your entre. Sage or poultry seasoning for turkey. Cumin and chile for tacos. Just simple Salt and Pepper for that Mac and Cheese delight.

On a low heat add in the other ingredients except for the topping. Stir until all of the cheese is melted and top with the parmesan and pork rind panko mix.

Transfer to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes at 350° F (176° C)

Remove from oven and serve warm. Nutrition stats at bottom of blog.

*Omit the cream cheese and heavy whipping cream if you are dairy free. I recommend Kite Hill for non dairy and plant based options.

Mac and Cheese Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter, for sauté ( you'll also need 2 T butter, melted for the topping)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower rice, slightly thawed
    or 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper Tellicherry
  • 1 tsp salt, Real Salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Green Goddess seasoning
  • 1 tsp salad dressing herb blend

*Can substitute parsley or chives for either of these 2 options

  • ¼ cup Pork Panko
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp butter melted

Figure 1 Seasonings for the mac and cheese mixture

Figure 2 Pork rind panko, parmesan cheese and melted butter for the topping

Figure 3 Shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, heavy cream and cream cheese for the mac and cheese base

Figure 4 Assembling the ingredients

Figure 5 Love those cheese strings

Store Keto Mac and Cheese, covered, in fridge for up to 6 days and up to 2 months in freezer. This reheats well. From fridge or freezer straight to the microwave, I recommend these silicone containers with ventable silicone lid. For more sizes, see below.

Written by Joy Sypher
Published February 18th, 2023

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