Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

low carb cauliflower cheese balls

Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

Keto Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Balls

Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls may just be the next big thing. 

Guys, I'm serious, if you want to impress someone with a low carb food or keto recipe of some sort..these are it.

These are a great keto appetizer or keto snack you can share with everyone, keto or not and they will love them!

These go great with a side of low sugar ketchup for dipping. 

Disclaimer: this post contains some affiliate linksketo fried cauliflower mac and cheese balls

… I'm not going to lie, these fried keto cauliflower Mac and cheese balls do require some work but if you follow the steps, the recipe itself really isn't hard. It's just the process of making them that takes a bit.

These Keto Cauliflower Fried Mac And Cheese Balls are that recipe that made me think “wow so much is possible with keto food and no one has even gone there yet”.

There are so many possibilities with this dough!

But these keto Mac and cheese balls were something I wanted to create first because I was inspired by some Mac and cheese balls we used to sell at my old job. 

They are always soo good. Perfectly crunchy exterior, soft and cheesy filling. Amazing.

But they were not ideal for my waistline, lol.

With this keto version I wanted to make them as similar as I could but minus all the carbs..and I think I did quite a good job! 

These are just as crispy and any other fried dough ball. You'd never know they are low carb. These are also super cheesy with two kinds of cheddar and a mozzarella based dough. 

The coating of these fried keto cauliflower Mac and cheese balls is similar to fat head dough..but better.

Trust me on this. I was once a fathead dough hater but this dough is like fathead dough's prettier, young cousin, lol. 

The base of the dough is a combination of almond flour, mozzarella and egg. 

Then we add some xanthan gum, baking powder and spices to improve the texture and flavour even more. 

For the filling, we use two types of cheddar cheese (although you can use whichever cheeses you'd like), along with heavy cream and cream cheese. 

We also add 1/2 a tbsp of arrowroot starch along with some butter to provide a thick base for our cheese sauce (often known as a “roux”). This makes it extra gooey and sticky, as it should be!

Toss some roasted cauliflower in there and you've got some awesome keto cauliflower Mac and cheese.

But of course, we aren't stopping there. 

We put it all together by frying the cauliflower Mac and cheese wrapped inside our beautiful “not fat head, fat head dough” until golden brown and extra crispy.

You can use avocado oil, coconut oil or vegetable oil for this process.

Whichever oil you choose to use, I promise these will be delicious.

A keto recipe you will never forget!

keto cauliflower mac and cheese balls

Ingredients In Low Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

How To Store Low Carb Fried Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Balls

  • Store these in a ziplock in the fridge for up to 2 days, re-heat in the oven at 400*F on an uncreased baking sheet for 10-15min or until crispy and hot again.
  • OR freeze in a ziplock between layers of parchment or wax paper and re-heat from frozen on an un-greased baking sheet at 400*F for 15-20min or until crispy and hot again.

keto cauliflower mac and cheese balls recipe

Can I make these fried keto Mac and cheese balls with coconut flour instead of almond flour?

The best answer I can give is..you can try!

I always make this dough with almond flour but I'm sure it would work with coconut flour to a degree.

The taste may not be quite as nice, but they'd probably still be tasty!

If you are going to try to substitute coconut flour for almond flour, I'd start with 1/2 cup (56g) coconut flour in place of the almond flour and add another tablespoon or two if needed.

keto fried cauliflower mac and cheese

Tools I Used To Make The Best Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

  • Low Carb Substitution Guide – This is totally optional but if you like my recipes, I now have a $5 guide available with all of the substitutions I use to create every recipe on my site. You can use this to convert old traditional recipes and create new keto recipes! You can purchase it here and/or read more if you are interested. 🙂 I appreciate your support so much guys!
  • Nutritional Food Scale – AKA my best friend. This little buddy has been with me for over 4 years and never fails. Perfect measurements and only needs the batteries replaced maybe once a year!
  • Candy Thermometer – SUPER helpful when frying! The temperature can really make or break your donuts so I highly recommend investing in one.
  • Rolling Pin 
  • Parchment Paper 
  • Slotted Ladle – To pick up your donuts out of the hot oil
  • Wok – To fry your Mac and cheese balls in

keto fried fat head dough balls

Tips For Making Keto Fried Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

  • Feel free to get creative with your cheeses in this recipe. I used two kinds of cheddar but you can always try gruyere, havarti, asiago..etc.
  • If you can't get your dough to come together and find the mozzarella is separating, microwave the dough for 10-15s, knead it well with your hand, add another tablespoon of almond flour if it's still not coming together. Repeat this process until it does come together. (Do not microwave for more than 10-15s at a time or you may end up cooking your dough. 
  • When choosing your mozzarella for this recipe, pay attention to the moisture content. A higher moisture content means you'll need more almond flour, a lower moisture content means you'll need to add less almond flour to get your dough to form correctly. This isn't a big deal, it just means starting with less almond flour and adding a tablespoon or two more, as needed to get your dough to come together. 
  • DO NOT use pre-shredded or the traditional fresh mozzarella you can buy. Only use block mozzarella for this recipe or it will not work as well.
  • The mozzarella I used for this recipe had a higher moisture content than others I typically use so 1 cup of almond flour is on the higher side already. Be sure to start with 3oz or 85g (~3/4 cup) and work your way up. 
  • When frying your donuts, it's best to use a thermometer to make sure the oil is between 340-370*F, this range results in the best texture and fully cooked donuts after cooking for about 1min 30s per side. 
  • If you don’t have xanthan gum it’s TOTALLY okay, you can still make these! I just add it because I feel it improves the texture of the dough just slightly.

low carb cauliflower cheese balls

How To Store Low Carb Fried Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Balls

  • Store these in a ziplock in the fridge for up to 2 days, re-heat in the oven at 400*F on an uncreased baking sheet for 10-15min or until crispy and hot again.
  • OR freeze in a ziplock between layers of parchment or wax paper and re-heat from frozen on an ungreased baking sheet at 400*F for 15-20min or until crispy and hot again. 

Can I make these fried keto Mac and cheese balls with coconut flour instead of almond flour?

The best answer I can give is..you can try!

I always make this dough with almond flour but I'm sure it would work with coconut flour to a degree.

The taste may not be quite as nice, but they'd probably still be tasty!

If you are going to try to substitute coconut flour for almond flour, I'd start with 1/2 cup (56g) coconut flour in place of the almond flour and add another tablespoon or two if needed.

low carb fried mac and cheese balls

Keto Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Balls Recipe

Serves: ~24 Mac And Cheese Balls

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Filling

  • 1/2 a medium head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets, ~250g
  • 2 tbsp salted butter, separated, 30g
  • 1/2 tbsp arrowroot starch (cornstarch can be subbed)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, 60g
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 120g (you can use a combination of whichever cheese you'd like, I used 1/2 old cheddar and 1/2 marble cheese)
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese, 15g
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp if you like some spice!) 
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like extra pepper in ours)

Dough For Frying

  • 2 cups, almond flour, 224g (see my tips on why you may want to start with less flour, say 180g and add more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper (add 1/4 tsp if you like more pepper)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, whisked
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, 280g/10oz (see my tips on mozzarella)
  • 2-3 cups coconut, avocado or vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Filling

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450*F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss your chopped cauliflower florets with 1 tbsp of melted butter.cauliflower and butter
  3. Spread the coated cauliflower florets evenly over the lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for ~15min, tossing once with a spatula half way through. You want the cauliflower to to be able to easily break in half. It should be soft and lightly browned. Set aside the cauliflower to cool.roasted cauliflower
  5. In a pot over medium heat, add your other tablespoon of butter and whisk until it becomes hot and bubbly. 
  6. Add your arrowroot starch to your butter and keep whisking until it forms a thick paste.butter arrowroot starch roux
  7. Add your cream and cream cheese at this time and continue stirring until everything is melted and thick.keto cream cheese roux
  8. Lower the heat and add your shredded cheese and spices. Mix again until everything is melted. keto cheese sauce recipe
  9. Remove your pot from the heat. Pat your cauliflower florets from earlier dry with a paper towel and add the then add them to the cheese sauce.
  10. Mix with a spoon until everything is well-combined. Taste and add a touch more salt or pepper to taste. keto cauliflower mac and cheese recipe keto cauliflower mac and cheese
  11. Set your cauliflower Mac and  cheese on a pot holder in the fridge to cool. 

Dough For Frying

  1. While your cauliflower Mac and cheese is cooling, we can make our dough by adding all of the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisking them together. (This includes almond flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, paprika, cayenne, pepper and salt).almond flour, xanthan gum, baking powder
  2. In another microwavable bowl, add your shredded mozzarella and microwave for 30s at a time, stirring in-between until fully melted. (It took me about 1min 30s total but I have quite a terrible microwave, lol so yours may take less time).
  3. Once the mozzarella is well-melted, add your 2 whisked eggs and mix (it's okay if these two don't fully combine).
  4. Add your dry ingredients and mix again until a thick dough starts to form.keto mozzarella dough
  5. Use your hands as the dough comes together to continue mixing the mozzarella with the rest of the ingredients. You'll need to knead the dough for a couple minutes to get it to blend together. If you are still having difficulty blending the mozzarella with the other ingredients, see my tips above to help you out! keto fat head dough
  6. Once you can form a pretty even dough ball, transfer it to two large greased pieces of parchment or wax paper. Break your dough apart into 2 pieces and set half aside. It's easier to work with one half of the dough at a time. keto fried dough
  7. You can also begin heating your oil at this time! Turn a burner on to medium heat and add your oil to a large wok or pot. You want it to reach between 340-370*F  before frying (if you don't have a thermometer, drop a test ball just before frying the rest and see how it fries, it should take ~1-2min per side to get golden brown and crisp on the inside).

Making The Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

  1. Take your keto cauliflower Mac and cheese out of the fridge and set it aside. 
  2. Roll your dough out to be thin but still sturdy enough that you can easily bend and fold it without breaking it (see photo).keto mac and cheese ball dough
  3. Use a glass, greased with oil and with a large opening to cut circles out of the dough. 
  4. Place one some spoonful of filling in the center of the dough and press the edges together as if you were making a pot sticker. Then pinch all the edges inwards as if making a dumpling, to form a circle. Do your best to keep the dough in a ball shape (a small tear won't mess up the frying, just make sure it's not completely falling apart. You can just make these into oval or pot sticker shapes and fry them like that if you find this too difficult). Use the photos for reference!keto mac and cheese fried dough filling keto dumpling keto fat head dough ball
  5. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough you set aside. Continue cutting circles and adding filling. Re-roll any scraps you have to make more circles. 
  6. Once you've got all your Mac and cheese balls ready, make sure your oil is between 340-370*F (350*F is best!) and fry 3-4 Mac and cheese balls at a time, depending on your pot size. keto fried balls
  7. Fry for 1-2min per side or until a dark golden brown colour. Then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. (You may want to try one early on to determine how long to fry them. We liked ours fried to be quite crispy!) keto fried mac and cheese balls
  8. Serve warm with a side of sugar-free ketchup and enjoy your Keto Fried Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls!!

keto cauliflower mac and cheese balls

keto mac and cheese

Store these in a ziplock in the fridge for up to 2 days, re-heat in the oven at 400*F on an uncreased baking sheet for 10-15min or until crispy and hot again.

OR freeze in a ziplock between layers of parchment or wax paper and re-heat from frozen on an ungreased baking sheet at 400*F for 15-20min or until crispy and hot again. 

keto fried cauliflower mac and cheese balls
Print Recipe
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Keto Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Balls

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: keto cauliflower mac and cheese, keto fried cauliflower and cheese balls, keto mac and cheese, keto mac and cheese balls
Servings: 24 keto cauliflower mac & cheese balls
Calories: 144kcal

Ingredients

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Filling

  • 1/2 a medium head of cauliflower chopped into small florets, ~250g
  • 2 tbsp salted butter separated, 30g
  • 1/2 tbsp arrowroot starch cornstarch can be subbed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 60g
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 120g (you can use a combination of whichever cheese you'd like, I used 1/2 old cheddar and 1/2 marble cheese)
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese 15g
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp if you like some spice!
  • salt and pepper to taste we like extra pepper in ours

Dough For Frying

  • 2 cups almond flour, 224g (see my tips on why you may want to start with less flour, say 180g and add more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper add 1/4 tsp if you like more pepper
  • 2 eggs room temperature, whisked
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella 280g/10oz (see my tips on mozzarella)
  • 2-3 cups coconut avocado or vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Filling

  • Pre-heat oven to 450*F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, toss your chopped cauliflower florets with 1 tbsp of melted butter.
  • Spread the coated cauliflower florets evenly over the lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for ~15min, tossing once with a spatula half way through. You want the cauliflower to to be able to easily break in half. It should be soft and lightly browned. Set aside the cauliflower to cool.
  • In a pot over medium heat, add your other tablespoon of butter and whisk until it becomes hot and bubbly.
  • Add your arrowroot starch to your butter and keep whisking until it forms a thick paste.
  • Add your cream and cream cheese at this time and continue stirring until everything is melted and thick.
  • Lower the heat and add your shredded cheese and spices. Mix again until everything is melted.
  • Remove your pot from the heat. Pat your cauliflower florets from earlier dry with a paper towel and add the then add them to the cheese sauce.
  • Mix with a spoon until everything is well-combined. Taste and add a touch more salt or pepper to taste.
  • Set your cauliflower Mac and  cheese on a pot holder in the fridge to cool.

Dough For Frying

  • While your cauliflower Mac and cheese is cooling, we can make our dough by adding all of the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisking them together. (This includes almond flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, paprika, cayenne, pepper and salt).
  • In another microwavable bowl, add your shredded mozzarella and microwave for 30s at a time, stirring in-between until fully melted. (It took me about 1min 30s total but I have quite a terrible microwave, lol so yours may take less time).
  • Once the mozzarella is well-melted, add your 2 whisked eggs and mix (it's okay if these two don't fully combine).
  • Add your dry ingredients and mix again until a thick dough starts to form.
  • Use your hands as the dough comes together to continue mixing the mozzarella with the rest of the ingredients. You'll need to knead the dough for a couple minutes to get it to blend together. If you are still having difficulty blending the mozzarella with the other ingredients, see my tips above to help you out!
  • Once you can form a pretty even dough ball, transfer it to two large greased pieces of parchment or wax paper. Break your dough apart into 2 pieces and set half aside. It's easier to work with one half of the dough at a time.
  • You can also begin heating your oil at this time! Turn a burner on to medium heat and add your oil to a large wok or pot. You want it to reach between 340-370*F  before frying (If you don't have a thermometer, drop a test ball and see how it fries before frying the rest. It should take ~1-2min per side to get golden brown and crisp on the inside).

Making The Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

  • Take your keto cauliflower Mac and cheese out of the fridge and set it aside.
  • Roll your dough out to be thin but still sturdy enough that you can easily bend and fold it without breaking it (see photo).
  • Use a glass, greased with oil and with a large opening to cut circles out of the dough.
  • Place one some spoonful of filling in the center of the dough and press the edges together as if you were making a pot sticker. Then pinch all the edges inwards as if making a dumpling, to form a circle. Do your best to keep the dough in a ball shape (a small tear won't mess up the frying, just make sure it's not completely falling apart. You can just make these into oval or pot sticker shapes and fry them like that if you find this too difficult). Use the photos for reference!
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the dough you set aside. Continue cutting circles and adding filling. Re-roll any scraps you have to make more circles.
  • Once you've got all your Mac and cheese balls ready, make sure your oil is between 340-370*F (350*F is best!) and fry 3-4 Mac and cheese balls at a time, depending on your pot size.
  • Fry for 1-2min per side or until a dark golden brown colour. Then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. (You may want to try one early on to determine how long to fry them. We liked ours fried to be quite crispy!)
  • Serve warm with a side of sugar-free ketchup and enjoy your Keto Fried Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls!!

Notes

Tips For Making Keto Fried Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

  • Feel free to get creative with your cheeses in this recipe. I used two kinds of cheddar but you can always try gruyere, havarti, asiago..etc.
  • If you can't get your dough to come together and find the mozzarella is separating, microwave the dough for 10-15s, knead it well with your hand, add another tablespoon of almond flour if it's still not coming together. Repeat this process until it does come together. (Do not microwave for more than 10-15s at a time or you may end up cooking your dough. 
  • When choosing your mozzarella for this recipe, pay attention to the moisture content. A higher moisture content means you'll need more almond flour, a lower moisture content means you'll need to add less almond flour to get your dough to form correctly. This isn't a big deal, it just means starting with less almond flour and adding a tablespoon or two more, as needed to get your dough to come together. 
  • DO NOT use pre-shredded or the traditional fresh mozzarella you can buy. Only use block mozzarella for this recipe or it will not work as well.
  • The mozzarella I used for this recipe had a higher moisture content than others I typically use so 1 cup of almond flour is on the higher side already. Be sure to start with 3oz or 85g (~3/4 cup) and work your way up. 
  • When frying your donuts, it's best to use a thermometer to make sure the oil is between 340-370*F, this range results in the best texture and fully cooked donuts after cooking for about 1min 30s per side. 
  • If you don’t have xanthan gum it’s TOTALLY okay, you can still make these! I just add it because I feel it improves the texture of the dough just slightly.
  • Store these in a ziplock in the fridge for up to 2 days, re-heat in the oven at 400*F on an uncreased baking sheet for 10-15min or until crispy and hot again.
  • OR freeze in a ziplock between layers of parchment or wax paper and re-heat from frozen on an ungreased baking sheet at 400*F for 15-20min or until crispy and hot again. 

Ingredients In Low Carb Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Balls

Nutrition

Serving: 1keto Mac and cheese ball | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.4g | Protein: 5.4g | Fat: 12.1g | Fiber: 1.2g

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