Have you ever craved a heartwarming bowl of classic macaroni and cheese?

Studies actually show that depriving yourself of a particular food typically increases the likelihood of craving that particular food1. Instead of focusing on a restrictive diet, why not introduce food choices that are equally as delicious and will support your healthy lifestyle?

We have come up with a healthy alternative to this high-fat and starchy comfort food that you can feel good about eating. In our vegan, gluten-free rendition, we have replaced the cheese with a zesty dairy-free ‘cheese’ sauce, and the starchy macaroni with a low-carb vegetable, cauliflower. One serving of cooked cauliflower has just 14 calories and less than 3 grams of carbohydrate2. When cauliflower is cooked it has a mild, slightly sweet and nutty flavor that can resemble an earthy rice or pasta.

If you have healthy alternatives for your familiar and not-so-healthy comfort foods, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can more feasible, and even enjoyable. Try satisfying your next craving with this Healthy ‘Mac n Cheese’ recipe.

Healthy Mac And Cheese – Ingredients


  • 4 C cauliflower

Cheese sauce:

  • ¼ C unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tsp coconut oil
  • up to 1 Tsp ground mustard (the more you use, the zestier the sauce will be)
  • ¼ Tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed or 1 Tbsp almond meal, or a mixture of both

Healthy Mac And Cheese – Preparation

1. In a large bowl, break up the cauliflower into small bits. You can even use a food processor if you prefer an even finer chop.


2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the cauliflower bits until they soften up and are semi-translucent.


3. Mix the ingredients for your cheese sauce together in a small bowl. If your sauce appears to be too thick, feel free to add another splash of almond milk to thin it out. If you want you can even add a splash of coconut milk for a creamy addition.



4. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower bits and mix it together evenly.


5. Pour your cauliflower “mac n cheese” into a baking dish or ramekin. You can even use a muffin tin to make individual servings.


6. Sprinkle the ground flaxseed and almond meal on top, and cook in the oven at 400? F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. If you want an extra crispy crust, put it under the boiler for a few minutes.



Hope you enjoy this new version of healthy mac and cheese! Let us know how it goes if you try it out.

Show 2 References

  1. Hill AJ. The psychology of food craving. Proc Nutr Soc. 2007;66(2):277-85.
  2. 2USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. Available at


  1. profile avatar
    Eric Aug 13, 2013 - 14:15 #


    Sounds great, but what about the nutrition facts of this in comparison to “traditional” Mac n Cheese?



    1. profile avatar
      Jessica Zack, HHC Aug 13, 2013 - 16:02 #


      In this case, the nutrition comparison is pretty remarkable (as you can imagine since you are swapping a high-carb starchy pasta for a vegetable!)… Assuming that this recipe will provide between 6 & 8 servings, the nutrition facts per serving would look something like this:

      Calories: 47
      Carbs: 5
      Fat: 1 g
      Fiber: 2 g
      Protein: 4 g

      Impressive, huh!?

      Take 1 serving of a popular original macaroni & cheese (Kraft) and per prepared serving you end up with:

      Calories: 400
      Carbs: 49 g
      Fat: 19 g
      Fiber: 1 g
      Protein: 9 g

      Need I say more?! =)

      1. profile avatar
        Eric Aug 13, 2013 - 16:22 #


        Thanks for the update and yes that’s massively impressive.


  2. profile avatar
    uncadonego Aug 14, 2013 - 03:37 #

    I use cauliflower and almond milk processed to liquid as the “cream” in my cream of vegetable soup.

  3. profile avatar
    Carolt Aug 17, 2013 - 08:41 #

    When you share recipes, please use, or insert, a format for printing that would only print the receipe and not all the pictures and advertisements along the side. This mac and cheese receipe I printed was 8 pages and could have been one.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Aug 17, 2013 - 10:50 #

      Using the print button on the left bar (floating bar), you can delete items that you don’t want to print. Problem should be solved.

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