Low Carb Mac and Cheese in a Minute

Low carb mac and cheese isn’t impossible — and this recipe is made in a few minutes in the microwave. Cauliflower stands in for the pasta in this Atkins friendly recipe.

Low Carb Mac and Cheese

Isn’t food in a jar cute? It’s all the rage on Pinterest now. It seems like you can find about anything in a jar — I’m waiting for the Filet Mignon in a jar, personally.

Food in a jar isn’t anything new. A lot of us have used those nifty canning jars for decades. I mean, what else are you going to do with them when canning season is over and you start emptying them out? I  must have 200 canning jars stored in my high cupboards and I don’t have time to garden or can anymore.

If you ask someone who is low carbing what food they miss most they are likely to have macaroni and cheese on the list, right? Well, I haven’t been happy with the various faux mac and cheese recipes. The texture was weird, the flavor wasn’t what I was looking for… you know the story.

You know what I did, right?

Low Carb Mac and Cheese 2

Yup. I made my own. But not just that. I made mac and cheese that you can cook in a jar. One cheesy serving that you can take to work and cook in the microwave. One comforting meal that has just a few carbs, smells delicious and goes anywhere. You can even make several jars and keep them in your refrigerator for instant meals.

mac and cheese in a jar

If you want to freeze the jars you can but you will need to blanch the cauliflower before adding it to the jar, ‘k?

It isn’t exactly mac and cheese — I mean that’s a lot to ask of cauliflower. It is delicious and I bet is completely curbs those cravings for… you know. That stuff.

Recently there have been a lot of comments that the calorie count was much higher than I figured. This was due to a typo in the recipe which called for 1/4 cup of cheddar or 4 ounces… 1/4 cup cheddar is only one ounce – my mistake and I do apologize. The nutrition info is correct. Thanks.

Print Pin Recipe

Faux Mac and Cheese in a Jar (Induction)

An easy mac and cheese substitute that you can easily take to work and microwave it right in the jar.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 1
Author Katherine Peters


  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower broken into small florets
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese broken into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • A couple of drops of hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup smoky cheddar or extra sharp cheddar
  • Salt
  • Coarsly ground black pepper


  • Mix the cream, water, mustard, and the hot sauce and put into the bottom of a half pint wide mouth jar.
  • Add a pinch of the cheese and a few crumbles of cream cheese.
  • Add a layer of the raw cauliflower.
  • Add a layer of cheese and cream cheese.
  • Repeat ending with a layer of cheese.
  • Sprinkle with salt and generously add pepper.
  • Cover the top with plastic wrap and then the screw on jar lid.
  • Store in the refrigerator

To Serve

  • Take the lid off.
  • Leave the plastic wrap on and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Shake the jar well.
  • Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes more - or until as tender as you like.
  • Shake the jar to mix the cheese and sauce.
  • Let sit for 1 minutes.
  • Carefully remove plastic wrap and enjoy


Protein: 11.4

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Last Updated 01/16/2021

39 Responses to “Low Carb Mac and Cheese in a Minute”

  1. You started a low carb blog??? Awesome!! Our weight-loss tales are so similar, and low carb has always worked for me in the past, so here I go. (I just started today THEN found your blog.) Question: I don’t have canning jars AND I don’t have a microwave. (It is an appliance that takes up a lot of room that I hardly use. People ask, “OMG, how do you make popcorn? Or heat up leftovers?!” Umm… on the stove. Hello 1970. 😀 Anyway, how would I cook this if I were going to do it stovetop? What would you recommend?

    • Dawn, I would partially cook the cauliflower… until it was crisp tender. Then I would heat up the cheese sauce ingredients WITH the cualiflower in it and slow cook it until it was tender. Does that make sense?

  2. This was amazing. I made this for lunch. I made two jars because hey two is as easy to make as one. I shared it with my oldest who loves cauliflower and cheese and we both loved it. I had it with some grilled chicken as a side dish. Absolutely yumm-o.

  3. […] I like using a slow cooker in the summer as well as the winter. This easy, slow cooker swiss steak recipe is not only very low carb — it’s just right any time of the year. I like to serve it with a salad but if you feel the need for traditional mash then mash up some cauliflower with lots of butter and a little cheddar cheese.  This would also be great with the faux mac and cheese recipe. […]

  4. Looks good, but how do you fit 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower into those tiny jam jars?

    • It’s 1 1/2 cups before I chop it small.. but you could separate it into a couple of jars

  5. i crumbled the cauliflower before measuring out 1 1/2 cups and I got everything to fit into the mason jars, no problem

    • Awesome!

  6. Had this for dinner tonight since I was craving mac n cheese. It was amazing! I had some left over pizza toppings from Portobello cap pizzas the night before (bacon, mushroom, pepperoni, and chives) added those into the mix once everything was cooked and the hubby and I loved it! My favorite recipe by far! Thank you!

    • Sounds great! SO glad you liked it. Thanks for reading!

  7. This is excellent. I made my first batch on the stove since that was the recipe I had. I can’t wait to jar these up. I’m hoping this works with broccoli as well. My kids love cauliflower and broccoli with cheese. This would be a great afternoon snack for them.

    • Thanks for letting me know!

  8. I don’t know where you got your info, but the chedar cheese alone is about 300 calories. Could you tell me which cheese you use? Cause the whole recipe is about 510 cals, which is bad unless you want to eat it as a side for your protein.

    • which is not bad****

    • Louis I use a recipe calculator… I will recalculate it and make any changes but I generally double check. I am on vacay right now so it will be a week or so..

  9. […] Low-Carb Cauliflower Mac & Cheese | Low Carb-ology Mac and cheese gets another makeover by substituting cauliflower for carb-rich […]

  10. I wanted to try this but I got over 600 calories using your calculator. The 4oz of cheese is over 400 depending on brand.

    • I will double check my numbers thanks.

    • OK the problem was a typo it calls for 1/4 cup cheddar which is just 1 ounce

  11. According to myfitnesspal.com with regualr sharp cheddar cheese, heavy cream, and light cream cheese only the calorie intake is around 311.

    • SO much depends on the ingredients you use.

  12. Louis is right. You are way off on calorie count. According to fitness pal this recipe is 510 calories per serving. 400 in cheese alone.

    • I will recheck it … thanks.

  13. Awesome recipe! any ideas what I can use instead of heavy whipping cream?
    thank you

    • Sarah you could use greek yogurt or try coconut milk.

    • I used whole milk and it came out great!

    • Thanks!

  14. 114 calories in 1 oz. of cheddar. I googled it.

    • 🙂

  15. If you don’t have extra sharp cheddar cheese, you could add a little grated Parmesan to taste. — maybe 1 tsp for this recipe. It’ a good work around.

    • What a great idea!


    • You’re welcome!

  17. The 4 oz are by volume not weight. But 1/4 cup is 2 oz by volume I believe. Anyway I am going to try it. Hungry for a good low carb casserole

    • Let me know what you think.

  18. I’m going to try this, but on a larger scale. I’m very worried about using plastic wrap in the microwave!?! I’ll likely use a casserole dish with the standard glass lid instead of a jar with plastic wrap.

    • That’s fine… how ever you’d like to do it. 🙂

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m pregnant andYou are saving me from going on a major carb binge right now 🙂 🙂

    • LOL! I remember those days. You’re welcome.

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