All the flavors of jalapeño poppers made into a creamy and delicious cauliflower “mac” and cheese!
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, through links in this post. See my Disclosure.
I have to admit, I love cauliflower, but it can get a little boring sometimes. I am constantly challenging myself to come up with different ways to serve it.
My husband, who’s not on Keto, reached a point where he was just over the cauliflower. I made this and served it on the side of a grilled ribeye and let me tell you… he LOVED it!
Creamy and delicious, this cheese sauce is incredible! It has such great flavor from the jalapeño peppers, cream cheese and bacon! Let’s be honest, everything is better with bacon! If you’re not big on spicy foods, believe it or not, this isn’t overly spicy (see recipes notes).
If you’re not a huge fan of cauliflower, you honestly won’t even taste it because the sauce is THAT good! But, alternatively, you could serve this sauce over broccoli instead.
This Keto and Low Carb side dish can be made in under 10 minutes and will impress just about anyone! If you have someone in the family who’s not on Keto or doesn’t like veggies, you can serve them some of this sauce over their favorite pasta.
You know how some dishes are even better the next day? This is one of those dishes, it’s honestly even better when it’s had time to sit overnight. Another great thing about this sauce, is you can also use it as a dip for raw veggies!
How to Make Keto Jalapeño Popper Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese
1 large head cauliflower, cut into small bites
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (or cream cheese)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, I use a cheddar blend
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 strips of uncured bacon, cooked and crumbled (bacon grease reserved)
3 teaspoons bacon grease, melted
2 jalapeño peppers, minced (see notes)
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
1-2 tablespoons hot water
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish
Add the cauliflower florets to a microwave save bowl with a plate (or paper plate) on top. Microwave for 7-8 minutes or until slightly tender (or your desired texture). You can steam it instead, if you don’t have or want to use a microwave, but I would not boil it, it might be too watery.
While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a sauce pan over medium. Add in the butter and bacon grease, then sauté the jalapeño peppers until tender, should take just about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted.
Add the remaining ingredients and still until well combined and all the cheese has melted. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of hot water if needed, to reach your desired consistency. I added in 1 tablespoon, to thin it out a tiny bit.
I purposely made this sauce on the thicker side, because I cannot stand when a “mac & cheese” type sauce is too thin and just drips off the cauliflower. I prefer each piece to be coated nicely in the sauce, and why wouldn’t you!? The sauce is fantastic!
Once the cauliflower is cooked through, you don’t need to drain it or pat it dry. The small amount of moisture will be perfect with this sauce, which as I mentioned, is on the thicker side. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and mix well to coat each piece, then serve.
I garnished mine with some fresh chopped cilantro, but you can use parsley, scallions or minced jalapeño. If you are a fan of cilantro, you could also mix a tablespoon or so right into the sauce. I LOVE cilantro and will most definitely be doing that next time I make this!
Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or stovetop.
Note: The amount of jalapeño pepper that you use is entirely up to you, and will depend personal preference. I would recommend using 2 jalapeño peppers for a mild to medium level of heat and flavor. If you’re like me and love a spicy kick and a stronger jalapeño flavor, you’ll want to use a bit more.
If you’re not sure how much to use, you can make the sauce with just 2 jalapeño’s, taste it and see how you like it. Then, you can quickly sauté more and mix it in the sauce to give it more heat and flavor.
Be sure to check out this Keto Chicken Casserole that has a lot of the same great jalapeño popper flavors!
More Keto and Low Carb Jalapeño Pepper recipes…
More Keto and Low Carb side dishes…
Jalapeño Popper Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese – Keto and Low Carb