Creamy dairy free bacon jalapeño mac and cheese recipe that’s easy to make and it’s paleo as well! The flavors are amazing with bites of jalapeño and bacon mixed in to make the best comfort food.
I almost called this dish bacon jalapeño popper mac and cheese, because that’s what I first thought of when I tried it. It’s the most comforting and creamy dairy free mac and cheese recipe, with the crunchiness of bacon and spicy bites of jalapeños. I just can’t get enough!
Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Recipe
The trick to making a paleo mac and cheese recipe that’s also nut free is to use veggies that are neutral in flavor for the sauce. Not only that, they’ll have to blend into a creamy texture once cooked. Thankfully, the combination of cauliflower and butternut squash, along with spices, makes such a delicious and wonderful sauce in this gluten and dairy free mac and cheese!
Ingredients in Creamy Dairy Free Mac and Cheese
Using simple and easy ingredients, I think this turned out to be the best dairy free mac and cheese recipe I’ve ever tried!
- Paleo grain free pasta: You can actually use any brand of your favorite pasta, and there are so many gluten free options out there! But I really love making a paleo version using Jovial Foods cassava elbow pasta.
- Jalapeño peppers: I like to remove the seeds, but if you want to make your bacon jalapeño popper mac and cheese extra spicy, you can leave them in.
- Cauliflower: You can use fresh or frozen florets for this recipe.
- Butternut squash: Same with the squash. Fresh or frozen will both work since they’ll be boiled then blended.
- Nutritional yeast: This is what’ll make the sauce cheesy without using real cheese.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Dairy Free Mac and Cheese with Bacon & Jalapeño Peppers
While it may look like there are a lot of steps, the instructions are actually really easy to follow. And it’s totally worth it for the best dairy free mac and cheese recipe! Here’s how to make dairy free mac and cheese that you’ll love:
- Whatever pasta you’re using, cook it first according to package instructions (for a paleo mac and cheese recipe, I use this pasta). Set aside while you make the rest of the dish.
- Cook the bacon until browned and crispy and set aside. Cook the jalapeño peppers in the bacon fat until softened. Set them aside as well.
- Pan fry the onions and garlic in the reserved bacon fat, then add cauliflower, butternut squash, and broth. Simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and fork tender.
- Blend the boiled veggies with the spices to make the creamy, flavorful sauce.
- Return the sauce to the pot, and then mix with the pasta, bacon, and jalapeño peppers. Stir together until heated through, then serve.
If you enjoyed this gluten and dairy free mac and cheese, you might also like…
- Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
- Dairy Free Queso Dip with Ground Beef (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
- Paleo Cauliflower Nacho Cheese
- Dairy-Free Salmon Cream Cheese
Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese (Paleo, Dairy Free)
- 8 oz grain free pasta or your favorite pasta
- 6 oz bacon chopped
- 2 seeded and diced jalapeño peppers plus more for garnish
- 1/2 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups cauliflower florets fresh or frozen
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash fresh or frozen
- 1½ cup bone broth or chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat, and cook the chopped bacon for 6-7 minutes until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Leave 2 tbsp of bacon fat in the saucepan, and remove the rest. Turn up the heat to medium high.
- Add chopped jalapeños to the pan and cook stirring for 4-5 minutes until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add garlic and onion to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are softened.
- Add cauliflower, butternut squash, and broth, and let it come to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to simmer, then cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.
- Transfer the contents of the pot to the blender, and add nutritional yeast, salt, apple cider vinegar, paprika, and ground black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Return the blended sauce to the pot, then stir in pasta, bacon, and jalapeño peppers. Stir together for 1 minute until heated through. Serve warm.
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