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close up of a skillet of cauliflower mac and cheese with chicken thighs
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5 from 5 votes

One Pan Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Chicken Thighs

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Chicken Thighs and Spinach is an one-pan dish made in 30 minutes, perfect as a keto, low carb, and gluten-free family meal.  It's creamy, comforting, and can be enjoyed all year round!
Course:Main Course
Keywords:cauliflower mac and cheese, keto mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories983 kcal


  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on) (about 6 thighs)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 16 oz frozen cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar
  • 1 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives


  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Pat dry chicken thighs with paper towel and season them with 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and paprika on both sides.    
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and sear chicken thighs skin side down for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Third, flip thighs and bake for about 18-20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. If needed, place a cup of water into the pan and scrub bottom with a wooden spoon to remove excess bits while heating on the stove top. Pour water out and dry inside with paper towel.
  • Meanwhile, while thighs are baking, place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl with 2-3 tbsp of water, cover with a plate, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until tender yet firm. Or, follow instructions on the frozen package.
  • Drain and set aside. Using the same pan, melt butter over medium heat and whisk in heavy cream, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, cream cheese, and cheese until sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Add spinach and let cook for 1 minute. Arrange thighs on top, sprinkle chives, and serve cauliflower n' cheese with chicken.

Recipe Notes

  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Please, give it a star rating below!! 
  • To make this dish paleo, use this cashew "cheese" sauce instead. 
  • For a dairy-free version, substitute almond milk, DF Greek yogurt, and DF mozzarella for whole milk, cream cheese, and regular cheese. 
  • If needed, substitute oil for butter.
  • Replace chives with any herb of your choice. 
  • If you don't have cauliflower, use broccoli.
  • If you love pasta yet are looking to cut calories, make this dish using half cauliflower and half cooked macaroni.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
  • Freeze for up to about 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge and heat before eating. If needed, add a little bit of heavy cream for creaminess.  
  • Remove chicken skin before eating in order to cut on calories, if desired. 


Calories: 983kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 88g | Saturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 352mg | Sodium: 1715mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2820IU | Vitamin C: 38.6mg | Calcium: 395mg | Iron: 2mg
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