You no longer have to miss your childhood favorite food while on a low carb or ketogenic diet, because with THIS recipe you can now make a REAL LOW CARB MAC & CHEESE! You can whip up this creamy, cheesy, gooey, and heart-warming goodness in a snap (we’re talking under 15 minutes). This recipe uses real elbow macaroni (low carb ones!), but you can replace them with baked Cauliflower if you wish, and it will taste JUST as good. Each serving (with elbow macaroni’s included) is 7 g net carbs per serving, and would be even lower if you substituted with cauliflower for the noodles.
Macaroni & Cheese has been a STAPLE in my diet through childhood, into college, during adulthood, and even now as it’s carried over into motherhood. It’s definitely my all time favorite food. Not just because of the nostalgia it brings about as I remember all those BLUE box blues (Kraft Mac) that I made regularly as a kid, but because it’s a the top of my comfort food list. Have a bad day? Mac and Cheese surely will fix it. Been raining for 10 days straight (thanks Oregon weather)? Mac & Cheese will do the trick. Just got over having a cold or the flu? The first thing I want to eat is Mac & Cheese. Mac & Cheese ALWAYS sounds like a good idea. That is, until you kick carbs out of your life. Then… it quickly becomes a bad, bad idea because we all know that pasta is the devil when you’re on a low carb diet.
Well, I should say, pasta WAS the devil…. Until I discovered these awesome low carb macaroni elbow noodles by the Great Low Carb Company!
I found them on Amazon first (where I’ve linked in the above picture) and ordered them to try out. This exact recipe is the first thing I made with them, and I was AMAZED at how good it was. The noodles do have gluten in them, which I try to stay away from most of the time, but a little gluten to be able to have my favorite food of time every once in a while and STILL stay in ketosis???? FINE by ME! Every time I make it, I never regret the smidge of gluten because it’s totally worth it 🙂
Now, do these keto macaroni noodles taste EXACTLY like regular high carb ones? Well, not exactly– very close, but not exact. Their flavor is fantastic, but the texture is a little bit different than a regular macaroni noodle. They don’t get quite as soft. I would describe the texture more like an al dente noodle (even if when they’re thoroughly cooked). Regardless, I still think they’re amazing, and my 2 year old eats them without batting an eye as to whether they’re different from regular mac and cheese. So ????♀️….
Also, please note, the package on the low carb noodles, lists 4 servings total. I’ve made this recipe for 6 servings, because 1/4 of the package seemed to be a much bigger portion than most eat at a time! We easily split the whole recipe into 6 servings. Then we get to eat leftovers for lunch the next day too ???? You can also buy them for cheaper directly from The Great Low Carb Bread Company’s site for only 7.99$ each bag plus shipping ( I just use Amazon because I’m too lazy to enter my shipping info on another site????) !
What if I want to Replace the Low Carb Noodles With something Without Gluten?
If you have a gluten intolerance or don’t want to buy these noodles, then you can absolutely still make yourself some amazing Keto macaroni & cheese. It will just be ….Keto Cauliflower & Cheese 🙂 All you have to do is is cook your cauliflower first then toss it in the cheese sauce in place of the noodles! The cheese sauce flavoring is still soooo on point, that you won’t even notice there’s a vegetable there! ????
You can steam, microwave, instant pot cook or roast your cauliflower for this. I would suggest baking your cauliflower florets if you have the time to do so, though. The flavor is so much better when when they’re roasted (it gives it a slightly caramelized flavor), in my opinion, and helps keep your cauliflower from being soggy which will make a better noodle replacement. 🙂
How to Roast Cauliflower Florets To Replace The low Carb Noodles:
Roasting takes little more time, but it’s so easy! Just cut your cauliflower into florets (or any shape you like for that matter) then rub/coat it with a little avocado oil, put on a oiled sheet pan , and bake it at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over/stirring every 10 mins or so for even roasting. Bing, Bang, Boom, Done. Low Carb Macaroni (and non-gluten option) replacement DONE.
Now, for the recipe. Because if you’ve been keto, chances are you NEED THIS keto macaroni and cheese….. and because life without MAC AND CHEESE, is seriously NO. LIFE. AT. ALL.
Keto Mac And Cheese is, has, and always will be the ULTIMATE comfort food, and with this recipe you can eat it EVEN when you’re keto or low carb!! Includes a very easy, very cheesy, creamy, sharp cheddar cheese sauce that will satisfy the deepest of mac and cheese cravings 🙂 One serving is just under 7 g net carbs with the low carb macaroni noodles. If you want to lower the carbs, just replace the low carb noodles with cauliflower florets (instructions in post)!
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Arrowroot Flour (totally optional! but helps make a slightly thicker sauce )
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream (or heavy whipping cream)
1/4 Cup Warm Water (can sub low carb fairlife milk for 2 additional carbs)
2 cups of Shredded Sharp or Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese ( the ‘sharp or extra sharp is Important!)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt)
1/4 teaspoon Dry Mustard Powder (you can find this at most grocery stores!)
Dash of Paprika
Dash of Onion Powder
1 Package of Great Low Carb Bread Co Elbow Macaroni (or 1/2 – 1 head of cauliflower if you’re not using low carb noodles- SEE NOTE 1 & you might only want to use half a head if it’s big or do a double sized cheese sauce 🙂 )
1.) Boil water and cook your low carb noodles as instructed on the package (boil for 9-10 minutes).
2.) Put butter and arrowroot flour (if using) in a large nonstick skillet and constantly whisk together over medium heat until the butter is melted, flour is smoothly mixed in and the mix is starting to bubble. If you’re omitting the arrowroot flour, just melt the butter until bubbling. Pour in your heavy cream and warm water and whisk very well. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring if needed, until it starts thickening and bubbling. Add in all the rest of your cheese sauce ingredients (cheese, seasoning, & salt) and whisk continuously until the cheese fully melts and you have a smooth cheese sauce. Remove from heat once it’s smooth.
3.) Drain your cooked low carb macaroni noodles when done, and stir them directly into the cheese sauce. Stir to coat. Serve immediately! Macaroni and cheese is best when hot. 🙂
Keep leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave. After reheated, re-stir the noodles together with sauce if needed before enjoying.
Note 1: If you’re replacing the low carb noodles with cauliflower, then cook the cauliflower however you prefer! I like roasted cauliflower as a replacement here, and I have tips for how to roast it in the post above the recipe 🙂 If you’re using a VERY LARGE head of cauliflower, then I’d suggest either only cooking half of it to toss with the cheese sauce, or making a double batch of the cheese sauce recipe… because a whole giant head of cauliflower is a lot of surface area to fully coat with cheese sauce (you can see how much cheese sauce this recipe makes by my pictures because the pan of cheesy macaroni you see is coated with the entire batch of cheese from the recipe. :)) hope that helps!
Net Carbs = 6 g net carbs per serving (serving = 1/6th of recipe) if using low carb noodles & you omit arrowroot (which you totally can and it will still be great!). If you do use the arrowroot starch for a slightly thicker sauce then the carbs are 6.9 g net carbs/ per serving (1/6th of recipe). Net carbs are lower if you use cauliflower instead of noodles.
Carb counts vary based on the brands of each item used. My calculations are for the brands listed/suggested.
- Cook Time: 15
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 393.3
- Fat: 31.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g net carbs
- Protein: 16.15 g