Low-Carb Macaroni and Cheese

by Jimmy Akin

in Diet, Food and Drink

There are different ways to make low-carb equivalents of macaroni and cheese. Some use actual low-carb macaroni noodles, but these can be hard to find, and the texture often is not the same as familiar versions of the dish.

Here is one of my favorite ways to make a low-carb version. It is extremely easy, and it uses only ingredients that you’ll find at a typical supermarket.

1. Get the ingredients

There are only three ingredients:

  • Heart of palm (14 oz. can)
  • 2 oz. of Velveeta (1/2 inch of the large-size blocks)
  • 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk (or heavy whipping cream, or Half & Half, or just water)

photo (6)


2. Cut the heart of palm into bite-sized pieces (I like thin rounds, but other shapes, sizes are possible)

photo (5)


3. Cut the Velveeta into smaller, flat chunks so it will melt more quickly and put it in a small saucepan with 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk (or whatever liquid you are using).

photo (4)


4. Heat the mixture on Medium/Low heat, stirring, until the Velveeta melts (this happens pretty quickly)

photo (3)


 5. Gently fold the heart of palm slices into the sauce and serve!

photo (2)



  • This recipe re-heats and refrigerates well (particularly nice if you like cold macaroni and cheese, as I do).
  • Heart of palm has a texture that is very much like that of traditional macaroni, even though the shape is different.
  • You can also use other low-carb items in place of or in addition to the heart of palm–e.g., mushrooms (button mushrooms, or pieces and stems), artichoke hearts, and tofu (though tofu is more fragile than the others, so be extra careful folding pieces of it into the sauce).
  • You can make the cheese sauce other ways. Velveeta works particularly well–including better than some store-brand knockoffs of Velveeta.
  • You can add various garnishes to it, including sliced, fresh basil (pictured), chives, or green onion (consider heating the white part of the sliced or chopped green onions with the sauce to make these parts softer).
  • You can also add spices like black/white pepper, garlic, or mustard to the sauce or on top.
  • Think about slicing up and adding other things, like tomatoes or hot dogs.
  • Treat this as you would regular macaroni and cheese and add whatever you normally like to it!



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Suzanne July 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I never would have thought of hearts of palm, but I’ll have to try it sometime.

I’ve been playing with the Veggetti vegetable cutter this past couple of months for low-carb noodles from zucchini. We’ve had them with alfredo sauce, marinara, meatballs and garlic butter or olive oil, stir-fried in sesame oil, and served up as Dragon Noodles (a la Budget Bytes’ recipe). None of it has been bad.

Our favorite dish so far is a Pizza Pasta Salad. To serve two people, put one zucchini through the Veggetti maker. Add about as many pepperoni slices as you’d find on two pieces of pizza. Add two small Roma tomatos, chopped; I leave the pulp in if we’re going to eat it right away, but don’t include it if I’m making the salad ahead of time. Add a bit of chopped onion. (Probably two, maybe three, tablespoons worth–I eyeball it.) Add one handful shredded mozzarella or other cheese. Add several dashes of Italian seasoning. Add two spoons of Boscoli olive salad, and stir everything together. Yummy.

Suzanne July 26, 2014 at 7:14 am

I left out a crucial ingredient: the black olives. Well, they’re crucial when you’re married to a black olive fanatic. So to the above Pizza Faux-Pasta Salad, I add around five large black olives that I’ve sliced into fairly thick slices.

Catholic Bibliophagist July 25, 2014 at 12:12 am

Hmmmm. It’s been a long time since I considered cooking with Velveeta. But hearts of palm is a good idea. But making a cheese sauce, as I used to do pre-diabetes, is probably too high in carbs. I will have to give this a try.

Jimmy Akin July 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Suzanne: I have one of the Veggetti slicers also! Zucchini pasta rocks!

Brad Williams July 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Long time listener, first time caller.

Thanks for this recipe. I’ve been mired in the low carb doldrums for a while and I am grateful for anything new. If I may make a suggestion, you might want to give low carb milk a try. It’s actual cow’s milk that has had most of its sugar removed and replaced with Splenda. A popular brand is Hood’s Calorie Countdown. It has only three carbs and has the added benefit of not tasting like a byproduct of a coal-fired power plant.

Lissa August 2, 2014 at 8:07 am

Sounds like a great mac n cheese recipe. I have the vegetti and didn’t do too well with carrots because are so solid. but looking forward to nice squash dish.

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