Dairy Free Mac and Cheese….& a signed cookbook giveaway!


Before my newest book, The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals came out in February, I used to get emails all the time about how to make a dairy free, classic kid favorite, Mac and Cheese. I know the blue-boxed version is an orange, chemical disaster, but as a kid of the 1970’s and 80’s…I grew up loving the stuff and thinking it was a real “dinner”.


Truth be told, I still love Mac and Cheese, but not that boxed kind. Homemade is the only way to go, whether you have food allergies or not. My version is completely dairy free, fast, easy and tastes like the real thing. Pinky swear.


Hope you like it as much as we do around here. One more thing, It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week. Take a moment and email your school; principal, nurses, teachers and administrators to educate them about the importance of using Section 504 Plans in schools to protect our FA children in their classrooms. Emphasize that food allergies can and do KILL. It’s called Anaphylaxis, not an intolerance. Tell them food allergies are not a choice, but a real disability and that our children’s rights should and will be protected under the American with Disabilities Act. Educate every chance you can. We are all in this together, and it’s so important we speak out on behalf of our food allergic children across the nation.


In honor of FA Awareness week, I’d love to give away a signed copy of my new book! Comment below about how you made a difference in food allergy awareness this week and I will choose a winner at random this Friday! Good luck! And love you all! xo


Serves 4


The stove top portion of this dish only takes 20 minutes start to finish–almost exactly the same amount of time it takes to make that other boxed, powdery, fake cheese brand.


½ pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, drained

1 ½ cup soy or rice milk, slightly warmed on stove top

4 tablespoons dairy free margarine

¼ cup unbleached all-purpose or gluten-free flour blend

½ teaspoon dry mustard

1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup dairy free cheddar cheese, shredded (I use Follow Your Heart, this doesn’t have pea protein. If you are fine with pea or legume protein, you can also use Daiya)


In a medium saucepan, melt dairy free margarine over moderately low heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add 1 c. of the warmed soy milk and whisk constantly for 3 minutes until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Add the dairy free cheese and stir with a wooden spoon for about five minutes. Then add the remaining ½ cup warmed milk, salt, pepper and dry mustard and pasta. Stir until the dairy free cheese is nearly melted, about five minutes .  Once the cheese sauce is smooth and melted, add the drained, cooked macaroni. Stir and serve.


Serve immediately.




41 Responses

  1. My husband is an allergy/immunologist so we regularly meet with and encourage families with food allergies. Also my middle son has egg, milk and nut allergies. We often laugh and say that God wanted my husband to really understand and empathize with his patients;) I can’t say I have done anything specific this week except just to make friends and neighbors more aware of kids with allergies and how easy and healthy cooking can be!

    • How wonderful! What a unique opportunity to really relate with your patients and their families!

  2. Every year during food allergy awareness week we try to do a little something to raise awareness in our small community. I made an informative video using pictures of my son who is allergic to milk, egg and peanuts and then posted it to my private blog, my food allergy blog and facebook. Our family usually wears something all together as well. One year we did t-shirts, last year we wore buttons and this year we are wearing yellow ribbons. Then when someone asks about them we can share. We put up posters at the school (my son will be in kindergarten next year but my girls attend) We also had Jonah pass out be a PAL bookmarks at church. Any opportunity we have to educate and share about the seriousness of food allergies and the dangers of anaphylaxis-we are there! I’ve followed your blog now for 4 years and am grateful for your ideas about school etc especially since we will be entering those waters next year. Thanks for all you do!!

  3. Making a difference for Food Allergy Awareness Week …. We have weekly full-school morning meetings. I was the mosquito that buzzed in the Principal’s ear how great it would be to cover some of FANN’s/FAREs talking points for elementary kids. Many appreciated, but my poor daughter took it as being in the spotlight and she was upset that they talked about it. For some children, there is such a fine line between calling awareness and calling unwanted attention to them. I find myself trying to draw awareness on a 1:1 basis vs bigger displays due to my daughter’s low tolerance of the subject matter.

  4. Sadly, I’ve never heard of Food Allergy Awareness Week. Thanks for sharing about it here. I don’t have a true allergy but rather intolerances that have me off of eggs, bananas, and cow’s milk. Your cookbooks are such a big help to me and everyone whatever I make from them.

  5. We sent out a flyer to all of the parents at the school explaining about food allergies and how to keep kids safe. We also have our Cub Scout Camp Out this week-end so we took the time to educate everyone on food allergies and for the first time made all of the menus and carry-in food nut-free.

    Because May is so busy at the schools, my son, age 7 who is allergic to dairy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts and I have scheduled to meet with each classroom, staff and teachers in the fall as we begin an educational unit on food allergies. We are working towards creating a nut-free school.

    Thank you for all of the unbelievable tasty recipes! You have made having food allergies a positive for my son because I bake all of your yummy treats for him and he doesn’t feel left out.

  6. My husband and I have been sharing our stories on facebook about our food allergy journey with our son. This includes the night he almost died. People have said its hard to read but eye opening.

  7. I am definitely making this. I make a version of dairy-free Mac and cheese, but yours sounds much better. I use Daiya, but am interested in trying the one you mention. Is it at Whole Foods?
    For Food Allergy Awareness Week, I sent the administrators at my daughters school the new FARE videos about food allergies. I am hoping they are shared a staff meeting.
    Thanks for your dedication to helping us folks with children that have severe food allergies.

  8. Hi,

    I have two sons with multiple food allergies and our family loves your cookbooks! How appropriate, this week I have to call our GI doctor’s office to try to get a different medicine in preparation for a scope procedure. All three of our doctors (GI, Allergist & Pediatrician) have told me that Dulcolax is safe even though it contains lactose. I know that is not a safe ingredient with a milk allergy when reading food labels, so why would it be safe in a medicine? Having to disagree with a doctor is out of my comfort zone, but a necessity. It is times like these that I think God is just trying to make me who I am suppose to be. Preparing me for the future. I just pray that the right words come to me.
    On another note, we had a birthday party this last weekend where the mom made ice cream cone cupcakes. so I made ice cream cone cupcakes that were safe for my boys for the party. Oh how they loved them! I was so thankful I just happened to talk to the dad to find out that the mom was planning such a special surprise for the kids. I did not want my boys to be the only two kids not to have such a special treat. It made me think that I should ask everytime now. Sometimes I am afraid people will think I am just nosey but then when I explain the food allergies, I just pray they take it the right way. I have to stick up for my boys, but I want to do so in a respectful way that leads to more awareness and not resistance to inclusion. There is a balance that is sometimes hard to find, but definitely necessary!

  9. Hi Kelly, sounds like another great recipe! My daughter who is only 2 is allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts. Even though she is not in school yet, my niece who is 6 is and we made allergy info cards for her to take to Kindergarten for allergy awareness week, colorful and fun!

  10. My almost 11 year old son is severley allergic to dairy, eggs, and tree nuts…..along w/ bees, cats, dogs, horses, and penicillin. So, I called a newspaper my husband subscribes to and is distributed in the whole eastern half of Iowa and into Missouri called Iowa Farmer Today. They have a weekly cook & I was last weeks cook in the paper. They came & interviewed me about food allergies, what we all have to do to keep our son safe not ony at home but school and any where he goes. So, I made some of his favorite dishes & the Iowa Farmer Today paper took pictures & the recipes I made & put them in the paper to help kick off Food Allergy Awarness week. Today my son is speaking to all ofthe 5th grade students at both of his schools Elementary’s about food allergies & how seriuos they are w/ the help of the school nurse & counselor.

  11. I’m helping plan the FARE Walk in our city this summer and we’re doing fundraisers all week because of Food Allergy Awareness Week.

  12. To begin, i used to drink a gallin of whole milk per week by myself! After my first daughter was 6 mo., I figured out that by eliminating dairy from my diet reduced her gas and spitting up significantly. When my second daughter was born with eczema, I took her to a dermatologist who prescribed her medicine that only covered up, not eliminated, the symptoms. I then did an experiment of removing dairy from my diet again. Guess what, no more eczema breakouts!

    Needless to say, we no longer have dairy in our home. And every chance I get to talk to new parents about dairy and it’s effects on my family I do.

    Additionally, the daycare my children have attended have helped me spread the word to parents whose children have shown signs of gas and eczema.

    Thank you for your experiments, advice, and great recipes!


  13. My boys are a Bermuda Triangle of food allergies and intolerances! I work with the FPIES Foundation, and through them we are tweeting, postin on Facebook, and sharing our “Inspiring Family Stories”. The Foundation has also created resources to help facilitate fundraisers, press kits to help families get their story in the news, and information sheets for doctors and medical professionals to help with earlier, easier diagnosis.

    What I’ve done for FAAW on a personal note is to write on my blog and share the links as much as I can! I re-published my article “FPIES Eyes”, which was one of my most popular posts to date (though I got triple the page views for the re-run!), and created a video on You Tube that I blogged about today that shares a very normal thing my youngest son recently got to do that he has never been able to do before due to his FPIES.

    I also created t-shirts to sell on my Zazzle shop, and am donating a portion of the profits from both Zazzle and my Etsy shop to the FPIES Foundation until May 25th.

    A friend of mine who is in media is reaching out on my behalf to local media to help us get our story in the local news, but we haven’t heard anything about that, yet, so it probably won’t help FAAW like I had hoped.

    It’s been a busy and AWESOME week! So many people are learning about IgE and non-IgE allergies and it just fills me with hope for my kids! Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for our kids, and thank you for giving us all the chance to share what we’re doing here – I’ve already gotten some good ideas for next year!

  14. First of all – thank you Kelly for all that you do for food allergies! I have been posting on FB about food allergy awareness this week, and just sent in to some allergy books for my daughter’s class to keep in their library. Hopefully it makes a difference out there!

  15. This week, to spread food allergy awareness, I have posted two new entries on my (very) new blog: http://www.momversusfoodallergy.wordpress.com Both entries are meant to do a couple things: 1) Let non-food allergy families know what it’s like, 2) Let food allergy families like us know they are not alone, and 3) Encourage food allergy moms and dads who may be weary in this all so difficult life of food allergies.
    I also attended our local food allergy support group, too, which is always great. It’s so helpful for each other to bounce ideas off of one another and offer support to other moms.
    Thank you for your recipes….they’ve been soooo helpful in our food allergy journey.

  16. This week, in honor if FA Awareness, I contacted my local MLB team to express my concerns about their mediocre attempt at offering peanut free games for those with life threatening allergies, such as my 2-1/2 year old daughter. While their response helped me understand the thought process for the decisions made, my quest to create a more inclusive environment for all allergic children just trying to enjoy a baseball game has only started. Wish me luck with my efforts to make change happen! 🙂 Thanks Kelly, for all you do for the FA community!!

  17. I am an elementary school teacher and my daughter who attends the same school I work in has a milk allergy. On one hand, it is great being in the school and knowing what is happening so I can quickly step in if necessary. On the other hand, it can be a little tricky to maintain professionalism when I so strongly disagree with what some teachers are doing with regards to food. Just last week, my daughter was unable to eat food at two different special happenings, and then at her softball game one of the same nights. She and I were both in tears. I work closely with the school nurse, especially when special events are happening. I am also on the district task force trying to help write new policy. Our school is pretty good with regards to peanuts and nuts, but milk and other allergies get lost in the mix. This week I have spoken with people in charge of the sixth grade “graduation” regarding the menu to make sure that they are taking ALL allergies into consideration. I am not making too many friends, but I really want my daughter to be able to eat at her graduation and not worry about it. I could go on and on, but I ought to stop now. Thank you for being there with all your recipes, ideas, and support.
    P.S. My daughter is on a 504, and I used parts of one that you posted a couple of years ago. Thanks again.

  18. I have been sharing information with friends. This has gotten some of them asking questions. This is great and I am happy to answer them. Have had a couple discussions this week.

    We have our 504 writing meeting scheduled for the end of the month. My daughter will be starting kindergarten this fall.

  19. Can’t wait to try this recipe! We LOVE your chocolate chip pancakes and your warm brownie cake! I shared the new PSA about “Food allergy and Bullying, Its No Joke” on facebook, specifically for all of my friends who DON”T have kids with food allergies! Hoping more people will show compassion instead of just getting annoyed with the food allergy world….

  20. We just met with the elementary principal and nurse where my son will attend kindergarten next year. He has many life threatening food allergies so I was somewhat anxious about what to expect… Both the nurse and the principal were very understanding and seemed to really “get it.”
    The were even willing to talk about the social / emotional aspect of being a FA kid which I feel is really overlooked. We do a lot to keep kids “safe” but rarely is there discussion about emotional well- being. The principal herself also brought up the possibility of a 504 plan for my son. She did seem to indicate that it couldn’t be in place by Aug. Is this typically a drawn- out process?

  21. This week I’ve shared information from FARE and KFA on Facebook and I’ve sent a number of new food allergy-related articles that have published this week to my extended family so they have a better understanding of my son’t food allergies. I’m also going to write a blog post summing up a few of the most useful food allergy related stories and articles from the past week! Even though these aren’t large-scale awareness efforts, I figure even small actions within our community of friends and family is at least a start!

  22. I just checked out your new cookbook from the library and I am in love with it! My boy has similar food allergies– nut, egg, legumes, soy plus a couple others. We’ve tried several of your recipes and have loved each of them! I especially love your heart healthy pancakes, oatmeal fudge bars and Turkey Meatballs. Delicious! I wish I could say that I did something extraordinary to promote awareness during food allergy awareness week. I did share a video clip on facebook and my blog about food allergy bullying.

  23. I know I missed the give away deadline, but I had to share anyway. This week I saved my son’s life this week after an oral food challenge went horribly wrong. We were sent home after failing the challenge and 45 minutes later I was injecting my son and waiting for the ambulance. As I held the auto injector against his thigh, I thought of how grateful I was to know what to do and how my heart breaks for the families who didn’t understand or were unable to save their child from anaphylaxis. Thank a support group leader, message board friend, blogger, nurse, doctor or anyone else who taught you about food allergies today!

  24. Kelly, do you have a substitute for the dry mustard? My son is allergic to it (in addition to dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts). Can it simply be omitted, or is there another spice that I can use?

  25. It has been exactly one week today since we found out that our little guy is severely allergic to eggs and nuts (he’s 7.5 months old). It’s amazing how much research I have done this past week 🙂 I think the thing that I have done the best to spread awareness about food allergies is to share some of the amazing resources I have found with everyone and anyone who will listen 🙂 (including your fantabulous site by the way :)).

    Thank you sooooo much for creating this site 🙂 🙂 🙂 Can’t wait to try a bunch of the recipes that I have already pinned 🙂

  26. Could I use unsweetened unflavored almond milk instead? My lo has a reaction to soy, dairy and meat. I feel bad because his favorite food is Mac n cheese so I’m trying to learn to make it free of all his allergens and he loves almond milk.

  27. We are new to the food allergy game so your cookbook would be a life saver!!. My 18 mo. old is allergic to so many things we are having a hard time packing the weight on her so she only weighs about 17lbs. Whenever someone comments on how small she is it opens up the door to talk about food allergies. Sometimes my husband gives me a look like ” They dont want to hear about that” but I open my mouth any chance I get!

  28. So glad you posted this recipe to your website so that I could leave you a GIANT THANK YOU for it! The mac ‘n’ cheese is our favorite food from your new cookbook.

    We use the Daiya cheddar cheese and omit the dry mustard (because we didn’t have any the first time we made it, and now don’t want to mess with a good thing!). So, so delicious…seriously. I still can’t believe it’s dairy-free. We’ve made it four times in just a couple of weeks! I love cutting up allergy-friendly hot dogs and eating them with the mac ‘n’ cheese…just like I did when I was a kid. I’m thrilled my four allergic kiddos can enjoy something as “all-American” as mac ‘n’ cheese.

    You’re the best, Kelly. So many of the recipes from your baking book are part of our life, and now we get to add more from your fantastic new cookbook. Your website and cookbooks are some of the first resources I suggest to people with newly diagnosed food allergies.

    Lots of love from a grateful mom. It’s not easy being in a family full of food allergies, but your hard work helps a whole bunch.

  29. P.S. For those wondering about using plain almond milk, yes, it totally works! One of ours is sensitive to soy, so that’s what we use. Great option!

  30. Great recipe! Thank you 🙂 I definitely recommend, to all you other dairy-free eaters, NuttyCow cheese! If you don’t have time to make food from scratch, like I often don’t, NuttyCow cheese is an awesome dairy-free alternative and it tastes great! It’s perfect for lasagnas! I suggest everyone check out their website 🙂

  31. I was so excited and then so disappointed – follow your heart cheddar shreds does have pea fiber and pea starch which makes this another let down. My son is newly diagnosed with so many food allergies that I am seriously wondering how he will be able to be healthy and keep any weight on. Will keep trying but it is so tough.

  32. Pingback: Cheese I can eat! | The good, the bad, and the ugly of MSPI

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  34. My 5 year old has really bad eczema and I’m trying to eliminate dairy to see if it makes a difference. She loves her mac n cheese. Can’t wait to try. Does this re-heat well?

  35. Pingback: That’s What She Said: The Unexpected Benefits of Food Allergies – What All Parents Can Learn from Two Allergy Moms | Smart Eating For Kids

  36. After recently finding out I appear to be allergic to dairy, mac and cheese has been the down point of my day. Every meal its what I want… and having 7 boxes of it in the cabinet has made that feel even worse and then I found this and it needed to be made. It came out nice and creamy and tasted mostly like mac and cheese. There is an after taste so I mixed some baked beans in and it worked. Thanks for the great recipe!