Healthy Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese.

Kraft Spirals, to be exact.

Served with chicken nuggets or fish sticks, it was one of my FAVORITE dishes as a kid.

Even though I used to love Kraft Mac & Cheese and have eaten more boxes than I could possibly count, it doesn’t pass the “real food test” of being something that (1) was at one time alive, (2) will eventually go bad/rot, and (3) contains ingredients a third grader can pronounce.

The Food Babe (an activist and blogger, who I had the privilege of meeting last week!), has exposed the not-so-nourishing ingredients found in a blue box of Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese and launched a campaign to remove the artificial colors (that are banned in other countries) from the neon orange noodles.

Since cutting out cheese and other dairy products from my diet 2+ years ago (and now feeling better than I ever thought possible!), I’ve been thrilled to find deliciously dairy-free alternatives that deliver on the rich and creamy factor that most of us only think can come from cow’s milk.

Not only that, but my focus is on “upgrading” our diet and ADDING IN nourishing things to crowd out the not so nourishing things. Today’s recipe successfully does that!


I wanted to try this recipe for a while, but last week I finally decided to make it happen.

I wish I had tried it sooner!

It was that good.

My ultimate test for any recipe is to have my husband, Bill, try it and give me the thumbs up…or down.

Not only did this dish get two thumbs up, but both of us licked our bowls clean and used the leftover sauce as an addictive dip the next day, dunking just about anything we could find into it and scraping every last bit from the jar.

If you like Mac & Cheese and are looking for a healthier alternative that’s rich, creamy, and satisfying, you have to try this recipe!

Adding the roasted broccoli was definitely the way to go, so take the time to follow that step and toss it in with the pasta and sauce at the end.

Healthy Mac & Cheese: Broccoli Boost Version (GF, V)



Cheese Sauce

  • 1½ cups raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dry yellow mustard powder
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

The Rest

  • 8 ounces of elbow, shell, or rotini pasta of choice (we used the Tinkyada brand brown rice pasta rotini but also like Trader Joe’s brown rice pastas, which are both gluten-free)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (click here for how to roast it)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • paprika, for garnish

There’s an option to bake it, but we didn’t do that. We liked the creaminess of the freshly made, right out of the pot, unbaked version 🙂

Here’s the link to the full directions for how to make this yummy recipe from The Detoxinista!