This keto mac and cheese is made with NO cauliflower and uses actual macaroni pasta! No grains and no wheat needed, you need just 3 main ingredients to whip this up! 4 grams net carbs per serving.
Keto Mac and Cheese
Growing up, mac and cheese was something my mom made on special occasions. She never bought the boxed mix stuff and always made it from scratch. As someone who LOVED Kraft’s version, my mom’s recipe was on another level. It was just so much creamier and never tasted artificial.
When I first moved out of home, making my mom’s recipe became a weekly staple. It was one of a handful of things I had learned to cook from her and one I actually enjoyed eating. Since going keto, it’s been something I have wanted to replicate.
Now, there is plenty of low carb mac and cheese recipes out there. If you have a quick look, nearly all of them call for cauliflower instead of pasta. While delicious, cauliflower is NOTHING like macaroni. Luckily, there are now several companies that create keto pasta that actually tastes like pasta!
I’ve been meaning to share a keto mac and cheese recipe for quite some time. It’s based on my mom’s foolproof mac and cheese that calls for just 3 ingredients and requires NO flour or thickeners. Now, this mac and cheese may look incredibly fancy but I promise you, it is so easy to whip up.
No grains and no wheat are needed, but you’d never tell. The texture of the pasta is al dente and slightly chewy, and the sauce is creamy and thick. It’s perfectly cheesy and tastes like any mainstream mac and cheese out there!
I had some friends over for dinner the other night and served them this mac and cheese and NO ONE believed me when I told them it was low carb- They thought it was Easy mac!
How do you make a keto mac and cheese without cauliflower?
- Keto macaroni– I used the Great Low Carb Bakery brand of low carb elbow macaroni. They look and taste like real macaroni, yet contain a mere 7 grams of net carbs per serving. If you’d prefer to use homemade pasta, you could try making almond flour pasta.
- Heavy cream– Also known as thickened cream or double cream. This keeps the sauce extra rich and creamy.
- Cheese– I used shredded cheddar cheese, but any strongly flavored cheese can be used.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
Start by cooking the macaroni in boiling water, as per the instructions. While the pasta is cooking, add the heavy cream into a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Once the cream begins to bubble, reduce it to low and stir through the cheese. Let the cheese melt into the warm cream and let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Now, once the macaroni has cooked, drain it and add it to the creamy cheese sauce and mix until completely combined.
Can I use other keto macaroni noodles?
More and more health food and specialty stores are now stocking low carb macaroni and pasta. If there is a particular brand you prefer, feel free to use that.
Avoid using ones that are konjac-based, often referred to as shirataki noodles. These do not have the right texture to hold onto the cheese sauce and will separate. They also don’t have a particularly nice texture to begin with and should be avoided.
Tips to make the best low carb mac and cheese
- For an even creamier mac and cheese, use half gruyere cheese.
- The pasta I used didn’t require any added salt and pepper but if you use a different brand or type of pasta, you may need to add some to taste.
- Feel free to add some spice to the macaroni cheese, like cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or sriracha.
Storing and freezing mac n cheese
- To store: Keto macaroni and cheese should always be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep well for up to 1 week.
- To freeze: Place leftovers in a shallow container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Reheating: Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or milk and microwave for 30-40 seconds, or until warm. You can also reheat the stovetop, but increase the liquid to 1/4 cup.
More keto pasta recipes to try
Keto Mac and Cheese (NO cauliflower!)
- 1 lb keto pasta 2 x 16 oz bags * See notes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 3/4 cups shredded cheese I used a mix of cheddar and gruyere
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper to taste
- Cook the keto pasta until al dente, around 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream and place over medium heat. Once the cream begins to simmer, reduce to low. Add the shredded cheeses, salt, and pepper, and let it melt into the cream. Stir for 4-5 minutes, until thick and smooth.
- Add the drained pasta into the cheese sauce and remove from the heat. Mix until combined and serve immediately.