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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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