Your Taste Buds Will Not Believe This Keto 'Mac & Cheese' Is Healthy

mbg Editorial Assistant By Jamie Schneider
mbg Editorial Assistant
Jamie Schneider is the Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan. She's previously written for Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.

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Your favorite, kid-approved side dish just got immensely healthier. Macaroni & cheese is a staple of comfort food, and it's especially a huge hit around the holidays. This keto version from Tasha Metcalf's Keto: A Woman's Guide & Cookbook uses cauliflower and cashews to create a dish that's neither macaroni nor cheese but is oh-so-delicious.

Feel free to tweak the recipe however you like, leaving out the ham for a cheesy, vegetarian option (I personally love adding chili powder or paprika to my Mac for a bit of heat). No matter how creative you get, the result is so tasty, your taste buds won't believe all the ingredients are actually healthy.

Keto "Macaroni & Cheese"

Yields 6 servings

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (70 g) cashews 
  • ¼ cup (8 g) nutritional yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder 
  • 1½ cups (355 ml) unflavored, unsweetened almond, macadamia, or hemp seed, or other nut milk of choice 
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped 
  • 1 pound (455 g) uncured ham, chopped (optional, leave out for a vegan/vegetarian dish)
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Soak cashews in water overnight. Discard water.
  2. Place soaked cashews in food processor with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, mustard powder, and milk. Blend.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C or gas mark 6).
  4. Arrange cauliflower and ham on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Heat cashew mixture in a large saucepan or stockpot over low heat to thicken, whisking occasionally.
  6. Stir baked cauliflower and ham into the cashew mixture. Salt to taste, and serve.

Note: This recipe describes how to make a dairy-free "cheese" sauce; however, if dairy is well tolerated, you can use a more traditional cheese sauce recipe if you prefer!

Recipe excerpted from Keto: A Woman's Guide & Cookbook by Tasha Metcalf. Reprinted with permission from Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, 2019.

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