Transform your comfort food cravings into a healthier indulgence with this Air Fryer Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. It’s a delightful twist on the classic dish, substituting pasta with cauliflower for a lower-carb alternative, without compromising on the creamy, cheesy goodness. Perfect for those looking to enjoy their favorite dishes in a more nutritious way.

This Air Fryer Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe is a game-changer for anyone looking to enjoy classic comfort food with a healthier twist. By swapping out traditional pasta for cauliflower, this dish significantly reduces its carb content while adding a serving of vegetables, making it an excellent choice for a low-carb or keto diet. The air fryer ensures the cauliflower retains a delightful texture, with edges that are slightly crispy and a tender bite, perfectly mimicking the mouthfeel of baked pasta.

The richness of the cheese sauce, with its sharp cheddar and Parmesan, envelops the cauliflower in a creamy, savory blanket that’s every bit as comforting as traditional mac and cheese. The hint of mustard powder and garlic powder in the sauce adds depth and complexity to the flavors, ensuring that this dish is as satisfying to the palate as it is nourishing to the body.

What makes this Air Fryer Cauliflower Mac and Cheese stand out is not just its health benefits but also its convenience and versatility. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights, and it can be easily adapted to include other favorite ingredients, such as bacon bits or chopped vegetables, for extra texture and flavor.

Moreover, this dish represents a fusion of traditional comfort food with modern dietary preferences, offering a way to enjoy the creamy, cheesy goodness of mac and cheese without the guilt. It’s a testament to the idea that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. Whether you’re serving it as a side dish or as a main course, this Air Fryer Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is sure to delight family and friends, proving that comfort food can be both nutritious and delicious.


  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional for garnish)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Prep the Cauliflower: Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Ensure each piece is evenly coated.
  2. Air Fry the Cauliflower: Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (193°C). Place the cauliflower in the air fryer basket in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Air fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and begins to brown, shaking the basket halfway through cooking.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce: While the cauliflower cooks, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to low and gradually whisk in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the mustard powder and garlic powder.
  4. Combine and Cook: Once the cauliflower is cooked, transfer it to a baking dish that can fit in your air fryer. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower, ensuring all florets are well-coated.
  5. Air Fry Again: Place the baking dish in the air fryer and cook at 350°F (177°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is bubbly and begins to brown on top.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle the finished dish with paprika and chopped fresh parsley for color and flavor. Serve warm as a comforting side dish or a main course for a low-carb meal.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, serves 4):

  • Calories: 460
  • Total Fat: 38g
    • Saturated Fat: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 800mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 12g
    • Dietary Fiber: 3g
    • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 22g