Paleo Mac N’Cheese

I know what you’re thinking. How can macaroni and cheese be dairy-free, grain-free and still be delicious? I wondered the same thing myself, but I was too busy mourning the loss of my old macaroni and cheese to think about a new version. Maybe I did walk slowly by the cheese section in Trader Joe’s and stop wistfully at the chocolate cheddar cheese, missing the luxurious macaroni and cheese I used to make. A dawn of a new era has emerged friends, and I think I’ve combined the creamy, rich flavor of some badass mac with an even better alternative: cauliflower made with cashew cream and vegan cheese, topped with center cut bacon. For all you Mac n’ Cheese aficionados out there; trust me on this. It’s every bit as cheesy without the dairy or the gluten and all of the bonus points. Plus, bacon, if you’re a bacon kinda person.


Those of you who eat Paleo and/or are vegan know the secret of the many uses of cashew cream. I’m still discovering all the ways it can transform baking and cooking, so using the homemade cashew cream was a new venture for me. To make mine, I simply soaked a package of raw cashews in a bowl of filtered water overnight. In the morning, they were rinsed and drained and put into the handy Ninja high-speed blender with an equal amount of coconut milk. I added enough milk so that the texture was creamy and smooth, but still thick. I’m planning to use some of it to make some vegan queso and who knows what else. All I can tell you is the creamy texture added something that even a traditional rue-based cheese sauce doesn’t have. I guarantee even non Paleo eaters will never guess this is cauliflower!



The recipe:

24 oz. cauliflower florets, steamed

1 cup cashew cream

1 onion, diced

1/2 cup palm shortening (butter flavor), melted

2 cups plus 1 cup cheese alternative (or regular cheese if you can tolerate)

3 slices center cut apple smoked bacon, cooked and chopped



I steam my cauliflower in the microwave on high in a covered casserole for 10 minutes, but you could also boil it too. Mash the steamed cauliflower just enough to get the big clumps out. Add the diced onion, melted palm shortening, cheese and the cashew cream, mixing well. Sprinkle the chopped bacon and remaining cheese over the top and bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly!


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Categories: Meals


Diligent seeker of health and nutrition, Paleo follower, and creative culinary practicer...


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6 Comments on “Paleo Mac N’Cheese”

  1. September 16, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    Ummm Two words for you— THANK YOU! I thought I HAD TO GIVE MY FAVORITE DISH UP FOR GOOD! I can hardly wait to go to the store and pick up cashews :))


  2. Wayne
    September 16, 2014 at 2:35 am #

    That sounds easy enough! My only question is what is the texture of the cauliflower like? I am going to make this sometime this week. it sounds really good 🙂

    • September 16, 2014 at 2:52 am #

      Wayne- since it’s already steamed and partly mashed, it’s pretty soft. Not mushy, but a lot how real macaroni tastes..Let me know how it turns out 😊

  3. Mari
    February 22, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    Hi, love this idea but I thought soy was not Paleolithic?!!

    • February 22, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

      I’m not sure about the Paleolithic part, but I’ve since stopped buying cheese with either soy or rice substitutes. I don’t eat soy because it contains estrogen, which I need like a hole in the head and rice is another gluten substitute.i know, we go through stages in this process don’t we? I’ve heard vegan cheese exists with neither one, but I don’t have a Whole Foods near me. When I find it, I shall post a sidenote, but in the meantime, feel free to substitute with what you’ve found!

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