Keto Mac and Cheese Alternative Ideas

Craving for mac and cheese but on a ketogenic diet? No worries, you can instead try making your own keto mac and cheese by using alternative ingredients that can work as a substitute for the carb-loaded macaroni pasta.

Mac and cheese in an iron skillet

Would you still think of going through a diet if you suddenly figure out that you are not allowed to eat mac and cheese anymore once you get yourself involved? No matter how dreadful it may sound, it is required to somehow stay away from foods such as macaroni or other pasta meals in order for them to not affect the state of the diet routine. What if I tell you that there is a way to resolve this minor problem? Will you give dieting another chance?

Mac and Cheese

Sure, when talking about mac and cheese almost everyone is probably ecstatic upon hearing the topic, this is because mac and cheese have become a people’s favorite wherein this title is more applicable to those who live in the western part of the world. For some people, mac and cheese is staple food and others may even think that they cannot survive a month without at least having a serving of the meal. The question is, will people like them be able to handle diet regimens that restrict the consumption of foods such as mac and cheese?

How About On Keto Diet?

The real answer actually depends on the person, but I can say that there is a way to make mac and cheese achievable even while on a diet – by making a mac and cheese alternative that is diet-friendly. However, we have to know which diets restrict mac and cheese so we will be able to make a way for the substitution of ingredients; and this time it will be the ketogenic diet.

Keto diet is considered to be one of the most difficult diet regimens because it requires strict compliance and its principles must be observed and properly applied from time to time. So when it comes to food restrictions and such, it should be followed strictly in order to make the diet work.

There may be a lot of restrictions when it comes to keto diet, and the macronutrient that must be monitored are the carbohydrates since it is what the diet needs to get rid of in order to achieve being in the metabolic state of ketosis. Being in ketosis is needed for the keto diet to work, so the carbohydrate intake is a huge factor that may affect the person in different ways. Pasta is known to contain carbohydrate counts that are considered to be more than what is required for the daily carb consumption of a person who undergoes keto diet, thus it should be controlled or most preferably avoided.

Mac and Cheese: Why Is It Restricted on Keto Diet?

The reason behind the restrictions of keto diet is that the state of ketosis needs a specific nutrient for it to take effect; which are fats. And people in keto diet asked to reduce their carb intake and in exchange, they get to eat more fats which are used by the body as a means of energy source. Originally, the carbs are responsible for being the body’s main source of energy, but since the diet (and ketosis in general) aims to help the body in losing weight, it thinks of another way to get energy from other sources instead of the usual carbs that can contribute to weight gain.

Macronutrients for Keto Diet

For an effective keto diet, a specific ratio must be followed when it comes to the consumption of the macronutrients known as fats, protein, and carbohydrates. The meals on a keto diet should strictly contain:

  • Fats: 75%
  • Protein: 20% percent protein, and
  • 5 percent carbohydrates.

We can see how limited the amount of carbs that can only be consumed while on keto, so this means that regular carb content will work for the diet. Because of this, people became creative and there were a lot of discoveries and innovations with regards to food alternatives. If an individual wants to eat a certain food that is known to contain lots of carbs, there are ways to remake the meal by using keto-friendly ingredients that can work almost similarly as the original ones.

Luckily, the same is applicable to making mac and cheese. They have officially thought of a way on how to make an alternative mac and cheese that even those who are into keto diet can at least get to enjoy the meal without feeling guilty and without completely ruining their diet.

Keto Mac and Cheese Alternatives

There are a lot of possible alternatives when it comes to pasta in general. And the only healthy and acceptable way to eat meals made from pasta is by substituting the pasta part into keto-friendly vegetables that are said to be the perfect fit for pasta meals.

One way to replace your macaroni into a keto-friendly ingredient are the following:


Squash is more suitable as a spaghetti alternative but it may also be done for mac and cheese.

Zoodles or Zucchini Noodles

Another possible macaroni substitute is the byproduct of zucchini vegetables called zoodles. There are many ways to make zoodles and all of them are really basic and can be done easily at home. Peeler or a spiralizer may be used to make zoodles. Zucchini is also a typical substitute for gluten-free and keto-friendly lasagna meals.

It is also easier to incorporate into a lasagna since there is no need to make it into pasta-like shapes and sizes, instead of the zucchini normally sliced into thin sizes to appear the same as a lasagna pasta once it gets cooked. Not only are these alternatives keto-friendly, but they are also considered to be very healthy and may aid in providing additional health benefits for the body.

Other Ingredients

The two mentioned alternatives are more applicable for other pasta dishes, but they may also be used for macaroni ones. However, there is a more well-known keto mac and cheese alternative that already has a lot of recipes available online; and this specific ingredient is commonly used as an alternative for rice meals and grains too. Do you have an idea what vegetable this is? Yes, it is cauliflower. To make it more like your typical mac and cheese, the answer is in the cheese, so it really does not matter that much whichever vegetable alternative you pick in exchange for the macaroni pasta.

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