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Menu 1

Paleo Mac n’ Cheese

I have been trying to create a mac n’ cheese recipe that is Paleo-friendly for quite some time. I really don’t like to “Paleo-fy” foods much, but both my kids just go nuts over mac n’ cheese. What kid doesn’t?! Mac n’ Cheese is a rare treat in our house since we are Paleo. I don’t buy cheese and I, definitely, don’t buy noodles. However, I will confess that when I am in a hurry or when I leave my kids with the hubby for a night, I will leave a box of Annies gluten free mac n’ cheese on the counter. I know…what a terrible Paleo mama.

I looked over many dairy-free alternatives to Mac n’ Cheese, but a lot of them used ingredients that are not Paleo (rice flour, vegan butter, etc) which made it even more difficult for me to find a recipe. So, I thought I would just make my own. It’s been rough, because what is mac n’ cheese without noodles and cheese? So, don’t think it’s going to taste like your mama’s mac n’ cheese, however, I do think it tastes cheesy and a great alternativ.

And I have to admit, this is pretty darn good. It’s very versatile. You can use several different kinds of “noodle” to pour the “cheese” sauce over. I just happened to use Spaghetti Squash, but you can also use zucchini noodles, cauliflower, or that Asian sweet potato noodle (or cheat and get some brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta). This cheese sauce would also be great to make broccoli and cheese with or to use as a dip.

Jackie’s Uncheesy Sauce

(double recipe for a 9×13 dish)

4 TB of coconut oil

4 TB of Arrowroot Powder

2.5 cups of full fat coconut milk

1 heaping TB of tahini (some recipes use Almond Butter but I used Tahini)

2 heaping TB of gluten-free nutritional yeast

1/2 TS Dijon mustard

2 TB Rice Vinegar (yes, this is Paleo)

1 TS sea salt

1/2 TS garlic powder

1/2 TS onion powder

1/4 TS nutmeg

3 TB white wine

1/2 TS Paprika for the orange color

couple handfuls of almonds


Cook your “noodles”. I used Spaghetti Squash and cooked it in the microwave for 10 minutes. Other ideas for noodles are zucchini “noodle’s” or sweet potato noodles which I buy off Amazon.

In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil and stir in the arrowroot. Arrowroot is a thickening agent that has no flavor to it. Whisk the arrowroot for about 20 seconds and then slowly add in the coconut milk. Make sure you whisk and blend the paste really good. This is called a roux. Bring the roux to a bubbly boil and then reduce the heat to low.

Add the tahini, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, and white wine. Add the paprika for color, if desired. Whisk it all together really well. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the cooked “noodles” of your choice to a 9in square casserole pan. Pour the uncheese mixture over and lightly blend. Grab a few handfuls of almonds and pulse them in a blender (or use sliced almonds). Spread almonds over the dish and sprinkle some basil on top.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Serves 4!

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15 Responses to Paleo Mac n’ Cheese

  1. irislazz November 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    YUM! great ideas! this is really great alternative for people allergic to cashews to my paleo mac and cheese on my website

  2. Alice January 3, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    Thank you so much for your recipe, I do not follow the paleo diet, however I’m lactose intolerant who absolutely adored your recipe. Again thank you so much 🙂

  3. therese January 20, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    I’ve had this on my to do list for a while. Finally got to it last night.
    Very easy to make, and it makes a lot! Are these US measurements?
    It was a lot richer than I was expecting, a bit too rich for me, and way too much sauce on the noodles, but thats just my preferences.
    The sauce would work beautifully in lasagne, can’t wait to try that out.

    • The Paleo Mama January 20, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      Yes US measurements. Lasagne sounds great!

    • Therese January 27, 2013 at 1:46 am #

      Well I didn’t do lasagna but I have found other ways to use up the sauce (sweet potato noodles and all)
      – lazy omelette – red & green capsicum (bell pepper), onion, crispy bacon, tomato, a tablespoon of the Mac n cheese, with an egg, all mixed together then left to cook using the keep warm setting of the slow cooker.
      – and this was the best, decided to make a leftover stew, which pretty much became a curry, needing some turmeric I poured a bit too much in and after it was cooking for a while I decided to add the remainder of the Mac n cheese. This was actually brilliant, what curry doesn’t have coconut milk in it 🙂 but what eventuated was a nice thick creamy curry sauce
      So although I may not Mac & cheese again, I will be hanging on to the sauce recipe.
      Thanks again 🙂

  4. Lyn March 3, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    Wow! Just….wow! I made this non-cheese sauce the other night. I’ve not been able to find spaghetti squash here in NZ, yet. I’ve recently converted the rest of my family to paleo, and I KNOW my husband is missing his cheese hit. I love the sauce. I’m sold. I put the unused sauce in the fridge, and (doh, coconut oil?) it set. Now we have spreadable cheese 😀 So versatile. Thank you.

    • The Paleo Mama March 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Awesome! I’m so glad you liked it! I love the spreadable cheese idea!

  5. danieatsnow April 22, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    does it actually taste kinda cheesy? without the cheese?

  6. Camilla July 15, 2014 at 6:30 am #


    This one was really good cheesesauce!!! Yum!! I made pastacasserole and this was a succesful substitute for cheese. Even our 2 year-old son ate it with pleasure 🙂 And yes, it actually tastes kind of cheesy!

  7. Anna January 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Jackie,
    I found this recipe about a year ago. It was good, but way too time consuming for my life, and also a little too rich. I lost it after the first time I tried it and made a “quick” version for my family from what I could remember. I have a kid who is allergic to just about everything, at least it feels that way. (Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, eggs, wheat, tomatoes, berries…and I suspect a few other things I haven’t found yet.)
    It works great for a quick “nothing much in the pantry” meal. I take a can of full fat coconut milk and just take the cream off the top, whole foods store brand is best for taste, price and amount of cream. Then I add approximately 2 tsp. of mustard, 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, a sprinkle of nutmeg and about 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast flakes. If it’s too thick, I just add some coconut water from the can to even it out. Mix it all with a fork, and pour it over some brown rice noodles. Viola!
    Thanks for taking the time to figure this out. You may not hear it, but from those of us who are coming after you… THANK YOU!!! I would have no idea where to start finding recipes for my allergic child if it weren’t for moms like you blazing a trail, and leaving the “evidence” online.
    Also, I’m kind of a cheese nut and I NEVER make boxed mac and cheese any more. I haven’t bought a box in over a year and it was a staple of my “comfort food”. The quick version that I make totally knocks out my cheese craving.


    • The Paleo Mama January 10, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

      This sounds wonderful!!! So glad you found a easier way to make it!


  1. Paleo Kids: What to feed them? « The Paleo Mama - September 14, 2012

    […] Paleo Mac n’ Cheese […]

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  3. Poppy - November 4, 2012


    Been looking around bing for sites about Cheese today. Good Stuff :-)…

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