Craving a pasta but watching your carbs? This cauliflower rice keto cacio e pepe will satisfy your Italian cravings without the guilt! Low carb, gluten-free, and oh so delicious.
By substituting traditional pasta with cauliflower rice, we can enjoy the creamy and cheesy goodness of cacio e pepe while staying within our daily carb limit. This recipe is not only keto-friendly, but it's also diabetic friendly, making it a great option for anyone with gluten sensitivities.
Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish that originated in Rome. The name of the dish translates to "cheese and pepper" in English, and that's exactly what it is: pasta tossed with pecorino romano cheese and black pepper.
The dish is simple yet flavorful, with the creamy cheese and spicy pepper complementing each other perfectly.
It's a dish that's easy to make, but difficult to master, as getting the perfect texture and consistency can take some practice. Nevertheless, cacio e pepe remains a beloved dish that continues to delight people all over the world.
Why you'll love this keto cacio e pepe recipe
- Low-Carb and Keto-Friendly: This cauliflower rice cacio e pepe recipe is perfect for anyone following a low-carb or keto lifestyle. By substituting traditional pasta with cauliflower rice, this dish is low in carbs and high in healthy fats, making it a great option for those looking to stay within their daily carb limit.
- Gluten-Free: For anyone with gluten sensitivities, this recipe is a great alternative to traditional pasta dishes. The use of cauliflower rice in place of pasta makes this recipe completely gluten-free, ensuring that everyone can enjoy it without any worry.
- Quick and Easy: This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. With just a few simple ingredients, this cauliflower rice cacio e pepe is easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes, making it a quick and satisfying meal that won't take up too much of your time.
- Deliciously Creamy and Cheesy: One of the best things about this recipe is its creamy and cheesy flavor, and this recipe is no exception. The use of pecorino romano cheese and heavy cream in this recipe creates a deliciously rich and creamy sauce that's sure to satisfy any cheese lover's cravings.
- Versatile and Customizable: This recipe is a great base that you can customize to your liking. Add in some cooked chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal, or add in some extra veggies like spinach or mushrooms to up the nutritional content. The possibilities are endless, making this recipe a great go-to for anyone looking for a versatile and customizable meal option.
The keto cacio e pepe recipe includes cauliflower rice, pecorino romano cheese, butter, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
- Cauliflower Rice: we used frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe for convenience.
- Parmasean or Pecorino Romano: traditionally pecorino romano cheese is used in this recipe but in a pinch you can use parmesan like I did.
- Garlic: the perfect amount of pungency and a nutty flavor.
- Butter: the melted butter with the cheese makes a rich creamy sauce.
- Salt and Black Pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
Steps to make this recipe
STEP 1: Add the cauliflower rice to a large dry frying pan over medium heat. Cook until all the moisture is removed from the cauliflower and it becomes slightly tender.
STEP 2: In another frying pan over medium heat melt 2 ounces of butter and then add the minced garlic. You want the garlic to get soft so lower the heat if you need to.
STEP 3: Next you want to add the cooked cauliflower rice to the garlic butter pan and mix well so that the rice is coated. Then add the salt and pepper, cheese and the remaining butter. Mix until the butter is melted and warmed through, serve and add more grated cheese and freshly cracked black pepper on top.
Other pasta recipes you might enjoy
Here are some variations on low carb cacio e pepe recipes:
- Chicken Cacio e Pepe: Add cooked chicken breast or thighs to the recipe for some added protein and flavor.
- Shrimp Cacio e Pepe: Swap out the chicken for cooked shrimp to make a delicious seafood version of the dish.
- Veggie Cacio e Pepe: Add in some sautéed spinach, mushrooms, or asparagus to up the nutritional content of the dish.
- Bacon Cacio e Pepe: Add some crispy cooked bacon to the recipe for some added crunch and flavor.
These variations on the low carb cacio e pepe recipe are a great way to switch up the flavor and keep things interesting while still staying within your dietary restrictions.
Here are some tips to help you make the best keto cacio e pepe recipe ever!
- Use Freshly Grated Cheese: For the best flavor and texture, it's recommended to use freshly grated pecorino romano cheese instead of pre-grated cheese. This will give the sauce a smoother and creamier consistency.
- Don't Overcook the Cauliflower Rice: When cooking cauliflower rice, it's important not to overcook it. Overcooking can result in a mushy texture, which can make the dish less enjoyable. To avoid this, cook the cauliflower rice just until it's tender, but still has a slight crunch to it. This will give the dish a satisfying texture and prevent it from becoming too watery.
Here are the steps to store your keto cacio e pepe:
- Allow the dish to cool down to room temperature.
- Transfer the cacio e pepe to an airtight container.
- Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- To reheat, simply microwave or warm it up on the stovetop, adding a splash of cream or broth if needed to keep the sauce creamy.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, it is! By using cauliflower rice instead of traditional pasta, this recipe is low in carbs and perfect for anyone including people with diaetes or anyone following a low-carb or keto diet.
Yes, you can use parmesan or another hard cheese if you prefer. However, keep in mind that this will change the flavor and texture of the dish.
Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the recipe to give it some added heat and spice.
The carb count will vary depending on the specific ingredients used, but typically this recipe is around 4-6 grams of carbs per serving and about 2g net carbs.
Yes, you can use olive oil instead of butter for this recipe, about 1 tablespoon for every ounce of butter.
Keto Cacio e Pepe
- 2 cups frozen cauliflower rice
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the cauliflower rice to a large dry frying pan over medium heat. Cook until all the moisture is removed from the cauliflower and it becomes slightly tender.2 cups frozen cauliflower rice
- In another frying pan over medium heat melt 2 ounces of butter and then add the minced garlic. You want the garlic to get soft so lower the heat if you need to.4 oz unsalted butter, 2 minced garlic cloves
- Add the cooked cauliflower rice to the garlic butter pan and mix well so that the rice is coated. Then add the salt and pepper, cheese and the remaining butter. Mix until the butter is melted and warmed through, serve and add more grated cheese on top.1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano, ⅛ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
This recipe card provides the basic details to make this recipe. For more information, questions or variations please review the content above the recipe card.
Updates and Revisions
If conflicting information between the video and recipe card, the recipe card will always have the most up to date information, ingredients and instructions.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooked food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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