Healthy Macaroni & Cheese Recipes

Find healthy, delicious macaroni and cheese recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Skillet Chili Mac

Rating: 4.5 stars
3
Poblanos add a kick of heat to this chili mac recipe. If that's not your thing, swap in green bell peppers to tone down the heat in this easy pasta dish, which mashes up mac and cheese and chili into a seriously satisfying skillet dinner.

Skillet Broccoli-Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Broccoli—just like pasta—makes a tasty pairing with sharp Cheddar. Here, we've combined all three ingredients in a homey casserole that's baked in a cast-iron skillet. Replacing some of the pasta in the dish with vegetables makes it more nutritious and helps you cut down on carbs.
By Joy Howard

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Rating: 2.78 stars
11
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.

Monticello's Macaroni

This is the macaroni and cheese recipe that would have been made in the kitchens at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Jefferson first became familiar the creamy, cheesy baked dish of macaroni from his time in Paris and it was enslaved cooks, James Hemings, Peter Hemings, Edith Hern Fossett and Frances Gillette Hern, who prepared this favorite dish over the years. The popularization of this iconic American dish can be traced to Black cooks, like Peter Fossett (the freed son of Edith Hern Fossett), Rufus Estes and Freda De Knight, who helped spread the dish throughout the United States. Learn more about Macaroni and Cheese at Monticello.
By Leni Sorensen

Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese Bites

Rating: 5 stars
1
When you're craving jalapeño poppers and mac & cheese and you want to eat with your hands, these easy cheesy bites--which are baked in a mini muffin tin--are just the ticket. Serve them as part of a family-friendly dinner or put out a platter for a casual party. A crispy breadcrumb topping provides a wonderful contrast to the creamy mac & cheese, while the optional fresh parsley and pickled jalapeño garnishes add a nice color contrast and bright flavor.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
2
There's no pasta here, but this gluten-free and low-carb cauliflower "mac & cheese" is as comforting and creamy as your family's favorite cheesy dish.

Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac

Rating: 5 stars
1
You'll barely notice the cauliflower in this comforting skillet pasta--it's pureed and mixed into the creamy cheese sauce.

Broiled Cauliflower "Mac" & Cheese

We replaced pasta with cauliflower in this creamy low-carb "mac" and cheese. A sprinkle of Parmesan on top and a quick trip under the broiler gives this cheesy side dish a savory, crispy crust.
By Carolyn Casner

Classic Mac & Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
1
No sneaky ingredients here, just delicious comfort food. You can enjoy this super-cheesy mac and cheese in the same time it takes to cook the boxed version. Whole-wheat noodles add fiber, while sharp Cheddar adds richness. A hefty twist of black pepper balances the cheese's salty tang.

Mac & Cheese with Collards

Rating: 5 stars
5
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.

Quick Stovetop Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
2
Precut butternut squash in your grocery store's produce section makes this healthy mac and cheese recipe come together in a flash. For extra flavor, try smoked Gouda cheese.

Pressure-Cooker Mac & Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
2
Make a healthier version of classic macaroni and cheese with this recipe that adds broccoli for a nutritional boost and an easy way to eat more vegetables. Using an electric pressure cooker, such as the InstantPot, gets dinner on the table in just 30 minutes.
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Inspiration and Ideas

14 Baked Mac & Cheese Recipes That Feel Like a Warm Hug from Grandma
These lighter takes on baked macaroni and cheese will leave you feeling all warm and cozy.
Skillet Mac & Cheese with Zucchini & Pimiento
Sweet and mild pimiento peppers add a little zest to this skillet mac and cheese, while zucchini boosts the veggie count.

One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

Rating: 5 stars
1

Taking a minute to sizzle some garlic in olive oil is a simple way to pep up the cheese sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese, and the flavor plays well with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in this family-friendly pasta dish. This recipe is designed for you to make a big batch of the cheese sauce to use in different dishes: Stir it into pasta and veggies to make this pasta a one-pot dinner then use it for Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole later in the week (see Associated Recipes). Or simply serve it over your favorite steamed vegetables for an easy side dish. If you'd rather make just enough sauce for this pasta, simply cut the sauce amounts in half.