As a nutritionist I can’t help but make recipes with a healthy twist, even old favourites like macaroni and cheese. With a lot of people on a dairy free diet in our community I just had to make a version for you. So here is my recipe for Hidden Veggie ‘Mac & Cheese’ (dairy free) and vegan.

As a mum I’m always trying to get my kids to have more veggies. This recipe is another where you’ll find hidden vegetables in disguise. A mum win when you know they’ve had their serve of vegetables with ease.

The recipe has a balance of healthy fats and plant based protein (thanks to the macadamia nuts), hidden vegetables and fibre. Above all, I hope this healthier recipe for Hidden Veggie ‘Mac & Cheese’ (dairy free) becomes a family favourite and kid-approved.

I serve this with gluten free elbow pasta which you can find at your local health food store, whole food store or in the pasta aisle in your supermarket. You can also make the sauce in advance and freeze in servings to reheat and mix through fresh pasta.

Hidden Veggie Mac & Cheese

This unique and innovate twist on a childhood favourite turns the classic Mac and Cheese into one that boasts nutritional value and appeals to those avoiding dairy.

Being kid friendly, the recipe hides veggies for bonus nutritional points.
The cheesy sauce is made with soaked macadamia nuts for a creamy, cheesy and nutrient rich result.
Prep Time 1 day 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
1 day 20 minutes


  • 3/4 cup raw macadamias soaked overnight or min 2+ hours
  • 1 cup cauliflower heaped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk premium, canned
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 cup elbow pasta gluten free
  • Pinch nutritional yeast exra


  • Steam cauliflower and pumpkin until very tender. Reserve cooking liquid.
  • Rinse soaked macadamias.
  • In a high speed blender or food processor, combine rinsed macadamias, cauliflower, pumpkin, 1 cup, hot cooking liquid/boiling water, coconut milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, turmeric, onion and garlic powder and salt. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Meanwhile, cook elbow pasta until al dente.
  • Stir sauce through pasta and serve hot.
  • Garnish with chopped chives and a light sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional).



  • For fussy kids, you can also use mashed potato in place of cauliflower.
  • You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika.
  • Stir through cooked broccoli florets to serve.

For more healthy, kid friendly recipes check out our Healthy Kids Recipes collection.

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This recipe was custom created by nutritionist and recipe developer Casey-Lee Lyons, for Australian Macadamias.


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Casey-Lee Lyons

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