Yummy, lactose-free mac 'n cheese

Updated May 4 2017
Guest post by ChaeBird
Photo by the author
Photo by the author

Last night we feasted on ooey-gooey mac n' cheese fit for my husband's digestive system. He developed lactose-intolerance in the past couple of years, which effectively put an end to his cheese-fiend ways.

I adapted this recipe from The New Vegan Table, and it's an awesome recipe. But made even better with my variation.

Here are the alternations I made to the recipe:

Other than that, I followed the recipe as written. It's super easy and super satisfying.

Oh, and let me tell you that Daiya cheese melts so very very beautifully. In fact, the mixture of cheddar shreds and jalapeno havarti alone would make a ridiculously awesome nacho cheese. I recommend it to anyone who has been looking for a good substitute.

Don't be misled by the fact that this is lactose-free and easily vegan-able, this is not health food. It is sodium-laden indulgent so-bad-for-you-it's-good food. In fact, my husband, who typically detests homemade mac n cheese, declared it the best he's ever had. High praise indeed, from a former cheese-fiend.

  1. Hi! I enjoyed your article quite a bit, but have some information for you. I work at a high-end delicatessen as a cheesemonger, and have lots of lactose intolerant customers who come in despairing about their limited cheese choices. The fact is, however, that most of the lactose in cheese comes out naturally through the aging process by transforming to lactic acid. Fresh cheeses are still mostly out, of course, but anything that's been aged long enough will be fine to eat. Harder and more aged cheeses are your best bet, cheeses like Parmesan, Romano, aged Gouda, and many kinds of cheddar. If you have one, go talk to a local cheesemonger for even more recommendations…I've had a ton of customers who simply ruled out cheese altogether as a result of their lactose intolerance and were shocked and delighted to see a whole new world of cheese opportunity open up before them!
    Thanks for your article, again. I hope this info can allow your husband once again to embrace his "cheese fiend" ways 🙂

    • My daughter is allergic to both dairy and soy – is there any product that even remotely comes close to resembling cheese? Or are we SOL?

    • Unless you're so lactose intolerant (like myself) that even super aged cheese will send you running to the bathroom. I can only eat cheese made with goat and sheep milk. Everything else I need to take my loverly Lactaid pills.

      The only good thing about super aged cheese is that I can get away with eating a few slices before I take my pills…unlike soft cheeses.

  2. YES! Lactose-intolerant friendly food! And comments about cheese being okay! I am happydancing SO HARD right now!

  3. I'm lactose intolerant too. I can eat hard cheeses like parmesan, butter, and any goat or sheep's milk cheese. But that's about it. I'm not a huge fan of the vegan cheeses, so when I splurge, I buy sheep or goat's milk cheddar. They have a fat content like real cheese, and melt like real cheese (because they are real cheese :)). Good luck with your lactose-free cooking. I know dishes like mac and cheese are such a luxury!

  4. Has your husband ever tried Lactaid pills? When I found out I was (severly) lactose intolerant, I immediately went out and bought Lactaid pills. I take them before eating anything with dairy in them, and then I can easily digest whatever it is.

    But even though I take these pills, I still have to limit my dairy intake (like maybe one meal a day depending on how much dairy is involved)…otherwise I get tummy aches.

    So I still eat cheese, creamy pastas, pizzas, etc…but just in moderation. Also if a lactose-free version is available (I have access to lactose-free yogurt, ice cream and milk)…then I go with that instead.

  5. Ohhh, Daiya. I love that stuff! It's amazing on pizza. I seriously can't tell the difference. Goat milk cheese is also freaking delicious sliced and made into grilled cheese sammiches.

  6. If you, like me, are sensitive to cow cheese (both whey AND casein, because I'm awesome like that! \m/) and ALSO to gluten, you can follow this basic recipe with quinoa-corn pasta, to great effect. I use coconut milk in mine, and it's delightful.

    I think I'd like to try making mac & cheese with goat cheese. I think, if you could find a cheese that wasn't too "goaty," it would be pretty good!

      • My roommate is heavily allergic to gluten and soy, so we do a lot of alternative pastas. The Ancient Harvest brand is quinoa-corn blend, and it is, um, not exactly cheap, even on sale, but it works really well for us. Probably my favorite safe pasta.

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