Creamy macaroni and cheese casserole, need I say more. Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese hits the sweet spot between comfort food and healthier cheesy pasta.
When you’re thinking of a dish that’s full of comfort food, what’s better than macaroni and cheese. There’s comfort food and then there’s cheesy, carby comfort food. With a lightly crispy, cheesy crust and a creamy, cheesy middle, macaroni noodles have met their match.
This isn’t just any macaroni and noodle casserole. Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese has all of the flavour and tastiness of traditional macaroni and cheese dishes, but with fewer calories and fat.
There’s nothing bland or diet-tasting about this macaroni dish. Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese is so rich and creamy, everyone will be asking for seconds. I know my family always does!
There’s nothing like a forkful of creamy, cheesy sauce with perfectly cooked macaroni noodles to bring on nostalgic memories of childhood. That simpler time with simply scrumptious flavours can be so enticing. While I still yearn for those flavours of childhood, today I prefer a full-flavoured, healthier alternative. Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese is all that and more!
How to Make Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Like many macaroni and cheese casseroles, Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese begins with a roux. While many roux recipes are a combination of milk, flour, and butter, this healthier roux is made without any butter. That’s right! You don’t need any butter in this creamy cheesy pasta. All you need is flour to thicken the milk, giving your pasta sauce a light and creamy base.
When the milk has thickened, you are ready to add in the cheese. To help make this dish lighter and healthier, low fat cottage cheese replaces some of the higher fat cheddar cheese. But you won’t miss the extra cheddar cheese. When cottage cheese and cheddar cheese melt together, they create a really cheesy sauce. To give it a little extra creaminess, egg whites are added in, giving the sauce a richer, creamier flavour without any fat. Rich, creamy, and low fat – Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese is more than nostalgically delicious. It’s seriously tasty.
Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese may be lower fat, but it sure pops with flavour. Dijon mustard, parsley, and paprika enhance the cheesy flavour, giving the noodles a creamy, dreamy sauce. With all it’s flavour, you won’t believe that this dish is actually low fat.
To help keep the casserole perfectly creamy, cover it with tin foil for the first 20 minutes while baking. During the last 10 minutes, remove the foil to give the top a lightly crunchy, cheesy crust. When it’s all done, Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese will be perfectly crispy on top and creamy in the middle.
Looking for the perfect dish to serve with Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese?
- Healthy Blackened Salmon
- Tomato Baked Chicken
- Avocado Caesar Salad
- Apple Beer Bread
- The Best Two Bite Brownies
Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Want some creamy, cheesy comfort food casserole? This dish is calling your name. Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese may be lower fat, but no one will taste the difference. My family never does!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 6 to 8 1x
- 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1 and 1/2 cups, shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup milk
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley, dried
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- dash paprika
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Prepare baking dish with a quick spray of cooking oil. Cook pasta al dente, according to package instructions.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk and slowly stir in flour. Continue stirring. Cook for 3 minutes, until sauce thickens.
- Remove thickened milk from heat. Stir in cottage cheese, mustard, salt, parsley, pepper, and paprika.
- Pour milk sauce into baking dish. Add egg whites and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Add drained pasta to the baking dish. Gently stir.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and cover with tin foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for 10 minutes.
If you love cheesy pasta, you may also enjoy Cheese Gnocchi
If you love creamy pasta, you may also enjoy Creamy Avocado Pasta
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS? SAVE LIGHTER BAKED MACARONI AND CHEESE TO YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD AND RECIPE PINTEREST BOARD!