Healthy Macaroni & Cheese Recipes

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

Staff Picks

Monticello's Macaroni

This is the macaroni and cheese recipe that would have been used in the kitchens at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The popularization of this iconic American dish can be traced to Black cooks who helped spread the dish throughout the United States.
By Leni Sorensen

Skillet Chili Mac

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
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

Pressure-Cooker Mac & Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Rating: 2.78 stars
7
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.

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.

Baked Mac & Cheese

Rating: 3.92 stars
26
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.

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.

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
4
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.

Spinach-Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

Rating: 5 stars
2
An old-school classic gets a boost of nutrition and flavor from garlicky spinach and tomatoes in this healthy mac and cheese 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
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Inspiration and Ideas

One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

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.

Mac & Cheese

Rating: Unrated
2
This healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is topped with plenty of golden breadcrumbs. If you want to add a little flair to this healthy macaroni and cheese, use aged Gruyere instead of Cheddar and add extra ingredients like peas, chopped cooked mushrooms or chopped ham. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you'll need for the macaroni and cheese. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.

Tuna-&-Tomato Mac & Cheese

Rating: 3.8 stars
9

Tuna mac & cheese takes a trip to the Southwest with spicy tomato and festive blue tortilla chips on top. Canned tomatoes with green chiles and ancho chile powder add a peppery kick, but if you like, you can keep it mellow by using a 14-ounce can of drained petite diced tomatoes and mild chili powder.