Kheemoa Mac & Cheese

I love mixing my Eastern and Western culture by bringing together spicy Indian food with American staples that I grew up with – like Mac & Cheese!  Although my tum tum loves that creamy cheesiness, my waistline doesn’t :) So I have to improvise in certain areas and end up always substituting ingredients because of my food allergies.

Kheema is a South Asian dish comprised of minced meat, typically ground beef, and spices. It is scrumptious alone with a dollop of greek yogurt or over spaghetti with red sauce or in Mac & Cheese!  I’m a huge pasta girl but for years now have changed over to much healthier options and I do think the gluten-free pasta options have started to taste better and better.  Ancient Harvest makes a Wheat-Free Supergrain Quinoa Shells Pasta that I recently tried and fell in love with.

Don’t overload on the cheese here, but this a great alternative if you’re gluten-free or just wanting healthier options.  Enjoy my Kheemoa (get it..kheema + quinoa :) Mac & Cheese.


Serves 4


  • 1-8oz box Ancient Harvest Organic Shells pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef (I typically keep 85%/15% grass-fed, organic beef in the house.  The more fat the better the taste)
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (I started cooking with this recently, high smoke point & increases good cholesterol levels)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala (store bought is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (store bought is fine)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (for heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish. Omit if you don’t like it!)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh gruyere cheese, grated (I go to my fave local cheese shop for all my cheese)
  • Fresh gouda cheese, grated
  • Fresh cheddar cheese, grated

1) Make Khima:

Mix well in a bowl the ground beef, ginger and garlic paste and keep covered in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I always like to marinate my meat for full flavor.  In a dutch oven add oil and warm over medium to high heat.  Once heated, add the onions and salt and cook until golden brown.  I always salt my onions so that I don’t have to add more salt on top of the dish afterwards.  At this time I also add half of the cilantro and mix it in with the onions, again you can omit if you abhor cilantro :)

Stir in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and then the ground beef and begin to cook.  Break up the ground beef as you are stirring the mixture.  Add peas and cook until the meat is no longer pink.  Put aside and cover.


To Make Pasta:

Follow instructions on the pasta box and make sure you don’t overcook the shells.


Bring it all together:

Pour the freshly cooked pasta over the Kheema.  Add in the gruyere and cheddar cheese and mix well.  Garnish with cilantro (optional).   Add salt and/or pepper to taste.





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