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Creamy Instant Pot Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese

Turn your favorite comfort food dish into a low-carb dinner using your Instant Pot!
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Macaroni and cheese is a classic dish that has two important ingredients: macaroni and cheese sauce. Clearly a dish where you substitute macaroni with cauliflower couldn't be called "mac and cheese" simply by nature. So while it technically isn't true mac and cheese, this Instant Pot cauliflower mac and cheese is strikingly similar to the real thing and is the perfect alternative for anyone trying to go low carb.

Use freshly shredded cheddar

While a bag of shredded cheddar cheese results in shorter prep time, I find freshly shredding a block of cheddar cheese to always be the right move. Pre-shredded cheese has a lining of cellulose on it so the cheese won't stick together, which means the cheese won't stick together well once melted. Freshly shredded cheese melts perfectly and makes creamy, cheesy cauliflower (or any kind of dish) every single time.

Take your cauliflower mac and cheese to the next level

sprinkling shredded cheese on cauliflower mac and cheese in a casserole dish

While the cauliflower mac and cheese is already delicious enough to eat, if you have the time, you can take your cheesy cauliflower to the next level by baking it in the oven. Because of the cream cheese, baking the cauliflower will give the cauliflower mac and cheese an almost cheesecake-like texture. Without the sugar, of course.

Once you finish the recipe below, spread the cauliflower mac and cheese into a greased casserole dish (I greased it with butter). Top the cauliflower with another 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, then bake it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

spoonful of cheesy cauliflower from an Instant Pot
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!


1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 block cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

How to Make It

  1. Add the water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the pot, then the full cauliflower. The head of the cauliflower should be facing up, the leaves on the bottom.
  2. Close the Instant Pot and seal it. Cook it on manual (Pressure Cook) for 2 minutes with high pressure. Once finished, release the pressure immediately.
  3. Carefully remove the cauliflower from the Instant Pot using the sides of the trivet. Break apart the head of the cauliflower into tiny florets using your hands.
  4. Switch the Instant Pot to the Sauté feature.
  5. Add in the heavy cream, cream cheese cubes, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until everything is combined and the cheese is fully melted.
  6. Add in the cauliflower florets to the Instant Pot. Mix until the cauliflower is fully covered in the cheese.

The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

3.3/5 (175 Reviews)
Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten