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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 ½ lbs chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on) (about 6 thighs)
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 16 oz frozen cauliflower florets
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar
  • 1 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Pat dry chicken thighs with paper towel and season them with 2 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon 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 tablespoon 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 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon 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

** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.

Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.

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