How many net carbs are in a head of cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a nutritious vegetable that is low in carbs and can be a great addition to a low-carb or keto diet. But exactly how many net carbs are in a head of cauliflower? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Net Carbs?

When looking at the carb content of foods, it’s important to pay attention to net carbs rather than total carbs. Net carbs account for the fiber content and give a more accurate picture of a food’s impact on blood sugar.

Total carbs – fiber = net carbs

Fiber does not raise blood sugar levels, so we don’t count it towards the total carb count. By subtracting the grams of fiber from the total carbs, you are left with the number of net digestible carbs.

Nutrition Facts for Cauliflower

Here are the basic nutrition facts for 1 cup of raw cauliflower (about 107g):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 25
Fat 0.1g
Sodium 30mg
Potassium 288mg
Carbohydrates 5g
Fiber 2g
Sugar 2g
Protein 2g

As you can see, one cup of cauliflower contains 5g total carbohydrates. 2g of that comes from fiber. So the net carbs per cup is only 3g.

Net Carbs in a Whole Head of Cauliflower

The size of cauliflower heads can vary quite a bit, but on average, one head weighs around 600g or 2.1 lbs. Knowing that there are 3g of net carbs in 100g of cauliflower, we can calculate the net carbs for a whole head:

100g cauliflower = 3g net carbs

600g cauliflower = 18g net carbs

So in the entire head of cauliflower, there are approximately 18g of digestible net carb grams.

Net Carbs Can Vary

When calculating net carbs, keep in mind that the numbers can vary between different references. Factors like the soil, climate, size of the head, and specific part tested can cause some fluctuation in nutrition stats. But most sources estimate around 18g of net carbs per average size head of cauliflower.

Cauliflower Nutrition Benefits

Cauliflower provides some great nutrition in addition to being low in carbs:

  • High in vitamin C – one serving provides 77% DV
  • Good source of vitamin K and folate
  • Provides antioxidants and phytochemicals that reduce inflammation
  • High in fiber to support digestive health
  • Contains choline that supports brain and nerve health

Tips for Preparing Cauliflower

Here are some tips for preparing fresh cauliflower:

  • Look for a head with tight, compact florets. Avoid cauliflower with brown spots.
  • Store whole head in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Trim outer leaves and cut off the stem and core before cooking.
  • Enjoy it raw for crunchy crudités or dippers with hummus.
  • Steam or roast florets for a simple side dish.
  • Rice cauliflower florets for a low-carb replacement for grains.
  • Blend cauliflower into smooth soups or mash for a low-carb twist.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Recipes

Because it’s so versatile, cauliflower can be used in all sorts of delicious low-carb recipes:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower is the perfect base to make a protein-packed pizza crust. Try this cauliflower pizza crust recipe for a custom creation with around 5g net carbs per serving.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Riced cauliflower makes a quick and easy low-carb stand-in for fried rice. Simply stir-fry it with eggs, vegetables, and soy sauce.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Satisfy comfort food cravings with this creamy cauliflower macaroni and cheese. With only 9g net carbs per serving, it’s a more diet-friendly version.

Cauliflower Mash

For a tasty alternative to mashed potatoes, blend steamed cauliflower florets with butter, cream, and seasonings for a smooth, fluffy mash.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Bread and fry cauliflower florets, then toss in buffalo sauce for a game day snack with about 5 grams of net carbs per serving.

Should You Weigh Cauliflower?

To most accurately track net carb counts, it can be helpful to weigh out portions of cauliflower rather than relying on cup measurements, which can vary. Using a food scale to weigh cauliflower ensures you know exactly how many carbs you’re consuming.

Weighing Different Types of Cauliflower

There are a few different varieties of cauliflower to enjoy:

White Cauliflower

The most common and familiar variety with white florets. There are approximately 18g net carbs per 600g head.

Purple Cauliflower

Has a vibrant purple color and slightly sweeter, nuttier taste. The net carb count is similar to white.

Green Cauliflower

Has light green florets and mild flavor. It contains around 15g net carbs for a 600g head.

Orange Cauliflower

Also called cheddar cauliflower, this variety has beta-carotene to give it an orange hue. Each 600g head has around 16g net carbs.

Low-Carb Cauliflower Alternatives

In addition to fresh cauliflower, there are some alternate low-carb products made with cauliflower:

Cauliflower Rice

Riced and frozen cauliflower that can easily be substituted for regular rice. About 4g net carbs per 1/2 cup serving.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Premade cauliflower crusts are available to conveniently use for pizzas. Around 5g net carbs per serving.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Shelf-stable gnocchi made with cauliflower instead of potato. Each 1/2 cup serving has around 5g net carbs.

Cauliflower Tortillas

Low-carb tortillas made with cauliflower, perfect for wraps. One 6-inch tortilla has around 5g net carbs.

Cauliflower Nutrition Downsides

Cauliflower has several beneficial nutrients, but there are some downsides to consider:

  • May cause gas and bloating for some people due to raffinose carbs.
  • Not a significant source of protein with only 2g per cup.
  • Has goitrogens that may impact thyroid function if over-consumed raw.
  • Low in calories with only 25 calories per cup.


Cauliflower is one of the most versatile and low-carb friendly vegetables. There are around 18g net carbohydrates in an average 600g head of cauliflower. Exact amounts can vary slightly based on the size and type of cauliflower. Weighing portions on a food scale provides the most precise carb counts.

With so many possibilities for cooking cauliflower, it makes a nutritious addition to almost any low-carb, keto, or diabetic eating pattern. Enjoy it on its own or transform it into tasty dishes like cauliflower rice, pizza crusts, and more.

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