Grown-up Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese


This dairy-free mac and cheese was a “main course” recipe entry in the So Delicious Dairy Free 3-Course Recipe Contest, submitted by reader Alana. For the creamy base, she whisks flour with Coconut Milk Beverage from So Delicious.

Grown-Up Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese Recipe

Special Diet Notes & Options: Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just use caution when selecting a dairy-free cheese alternative. Many brands of dairy-free and vegan “shreds” are now free of gluten and the top eight allergens.

Also, for gluten-free, be sure to select a gluten-free pasta. There are many types available, from corn-, to brown rice-, to bean-based.

Grownup Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was submitted by Alana for the Go Dairy Free So Delicious Dairy Free 3-Course Recipe Contest.
Serves: 3 to 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or use sweet white rice flour for gluten-free)
  • 2 cups So Delicious Dairy Free Unsweetened Original Coconut Milk Beverage
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, or more if you like it spicy!
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup dairy-free white cheddar cheese alternative
  • 4 to 6 cups cooked penne or any type of pasta (wheat-based or gluten-free)
  • Parsley, for decoration
  1. Sauté garlic in oil on medium-high until golden. This will take only seconds.
  2. Add flour and stir to thicken into a paste.
  3. Add milk beverage slowly, stirring constantly, this will thicken the mixture faster and prevent lumps.
  4. Add mustard, hot sauce and seasonings. Taste and adjust if needed.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat to thicken. Stir every few minutes so as not to burn the sauce.
  6. Add cheese and stir to incorporate to a thick sauce.
  7. Pour over cooked pasta, stir to mix. Dress with large parsley leaves.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Hi Alisa-Not only are my kids allergic to dairy and are lactose intolerant, one is also allergic to coconut and the other is allergic to nuts. So I can’t use coconut milk or any of the various nut milks. Will rice milk work? Thanks!!!

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  3. Alisa, I’m a caterer. You know the kind in the back of the church kitchen that everyone goes to for family funtions. I cook all types of food well this Sundays menu is fried chicken and mac and cheese. Sadly I’m allergic to wheat and dairy. So I’m gonna make a big pan of ooey, gooey, yum yum for the group and usually I go home sad and craving, but not this weekend. I do my best to avoid soy also, so seeing that you used coconut milk goes right along with what’s in my pantry. The casein in go veggie got me all messed up once, I guess I’ll try the diaya or some other brand or rice based cheese. I look forward to coming home Sunday to my own comfort food.

    • Hi Aye, Go Veggie has two product lines – one that is just “lactose-free” and one that is “dairy-free”. The truly dairy-free one (that has no milk protein) is in the purple packages and labeled with “vegan”. I hate that they have both! Yes, should be good with Daiya!

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  5. Would this recipe work with soy milk? We don’t use coconut milk often because of the high saturated fat content.

  6. What kind of cheese brand do you recommend? I haven’t had great luck finding truly dairy free and tasting good. Thx!

    • Stephanie, have you tried the different brands of shreds? I know most like Daiya. I like the Go Veggie shreds (purple package for dairy-free) because they readily melt and have a bolder flavor. There are also shreds from Follow Your Heart. Another option is nut cheese, if not allergies aren’t concern for you.

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