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 stars 4
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.
By Stacy Fraser

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Rating: 2.5 stars 12
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.

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

Cheesy Chipotle-Cauliflower Mac

Rating: 5 stars 2
You'll barely notice the cauliflower in this comforting skillet pasta--it's pureed and mixed into the creamy cheese sauce.
By Lauren Grant

Skillet Mac & Cheese with Zucchini & Pimiento

Rating: 5 stars 1
Sweet and mild pimiento peppers add a little zest to this skillet mac and cheese, while zucchini boosts the veggie count.
By Carolyn Casner

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

Classic Mac & Cheese

Rating: 3 stars 2
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.
By Hilary Meyer

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.

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.
By Hilary Meyer

Baked Mac & Cheese

Rating: 4.5 stars 35
Mac & cheese can be a true comfort on a gloomy day, and our healthy update takes advantage of extra-sharp Cheddar balanced with creamy low-fat cottage cheese and tucks a layer of spinach into the middle, which may help picky eaters down their vegetables. Whole-wheat pasta adds robust flavor and extra fiber.

Crab Mac & Cheese

This easy, fast and decadent crab mac and cheese can be thrown together for company or a busy weeknight without any hassle. Cooking the pasta in the base sauce keeps it quick, while the trio of cheeses complements the sweet crabmeat. Add some chives for garnish, and you'll have a beautiful meal in minutes.
By Julia Levy

Skillet Broccoli-Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Rating: 3 stars 1
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.
Joy Howard Headshot
By Joy Howard
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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.
13 Easy No-Bake Mac & Cheese Recipes That Feel Like a Warm Hug
Whether it's a side or a main dish, each of these yummy macaroni and cheese recipes is ready to serve in 30 minutes or less, so you can get dinner on the table in a pinch.
3-Ingredient Broccoli Mac & Cheese with Rotisserie Chicken

Transform a box of macaroni and cheese for an easy weeknight dinner. Use frozen broccoli, steamed in the microwave, to cut down on prep time. Opt for chickpea-based macaroni and cheese for a boost of protein and fiber.