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Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese is creamy, extra cheesy and a little smoky.  If you’re watching your carbs this is a perfect dish to satisfy your pasta cravings.

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese

I have been on the low carb/keto train for a couple of months, and overall I like this way of eating.  I’ve lost a few pounds and for the most part don’t miss the carbs.  I do, however, still crave some of my favorites from time to time, like bread, potatoes and pasta.

When I’m craving pasta dishes, I’ve discovered that zucchini noodles are a great substitution.  They’re mild in flavor and the texture is very similar to pasta.  I love that all you need to to do to prepare them is run them through a spiralizer.  Then they’re ready to toss into whatever sauce you like.

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese

In this case, the sauce is a rich and creamy cheese sauce.  To make this low carb smoky mac and cheese, I had to make a few adjustments to the sauce.  Traditionally, the cheese sauce starts with milk that’s been thickened with flour.

Since milk and flour are both high in carbs, I substituted half and half.  Half and half is thicker than milk, so I was able to omit the flour.  The sauce is slightly thinner than the traditional, but it’s still very rich and creamy.

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese

To give this mac and cheese it’s smokiness, I added some bacon to the mix.  Then to further enhance that flavor, I sautéed some garlic in the bacon fat and added a little smoked paprika.  The result was absolutely scrumptious!

If you’re not eating low carb, here are a few fully carb loaded versions you might want to try:

Easy Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

Grown Up Gruyere Mac and Cheese

Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese

Yield: 6

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese

Low Carb Smoky Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded swiss
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 medium zucchini, spiralized or shredded


  • Cut bacon crosswise into 1/2 inch strips
  • In a medium skillet, fry bacon until crispy.
  • Remove bacon from skillet and reserve 2 tsp bacon fat.
  • Spoon bacon fat into a 3 quart saucepan.
  • Add garlic and sauté over medium low heat for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  • Whisk ground mustard and smoked paprika into the pan.
  • Add half and half and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Turn heat off and remove pan from burner.
  • Gradually whisk in cheeses a little at a time, allowing each addition to melt.
  • Stir in salt.
  • Stir in zucchini and half of the bacon.
  • Serve immediately topped with the remaining bacon.

  • ENJOY!

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