Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked Mac & Cheese

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.

Nutirion Profile: High Calcium High Fiber Low Cholesterol

Serves Prep Time Total Time
4 25 min 55 min



  • 3 tablespoon plain dry breadcrumbs, (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 16-ounce o frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces (2 whole-wheat elbow macaroni, or penne

Cooking Instruction

Step 1

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Step 2

Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.

Step 3

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Step 4

Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.

Step 5

Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.


  • Serving: Per serving
  • Calories: 576
  • Carbohydrates: 63g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Dietary Fiber: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 69mg
  • Potassium: 250mg
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 1/2 medium-fat meat
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2

Ends tomorrow!