Cottage Cheese Mac And Cheese

This healthy, protein-packed cottage cheese mac and cheese is both creamy and satisfying. It gets ready in 15 minutes and will be a hit among kids and adults.

Healthy cottage cheese mac and cheese served in a white bowl with 2 forks.

❤️ You’ll Love This Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe

Taste & Texture:

  • Creamy, rich, super yummy sauce
  • With soft, perfectly cooked macaroni pasta
  • Sharp cheddar cheese adds a signature mac and cheese flavor
  • Cottage cheese adds nutrition and helps to get a creamy texture 

Quick to make: This healthy mac and cheese sauce comes together in under 10 minutes. The most time-consuming part is water to come to a boil for pasta. 

Easy to make: The method cannot be simpler than this. Blend sauce ingredients in a blender and cook for a couple of minutes until it gets thick. Lastly, mix cooked macaroni in the sauce. Simple, right? 

🧾 Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for cottage cheese mac n cheese in bowls and spoons with labels.
  • Elbow Macaroni Pasta: It is the classic pasta choice for mac and cheese due to its shape, which holds the sauce well. Ensure it’s cooked to al dente to avoid a mushy texture.
  • Cottage Cheese (4% milkfat): It adds creaminess to the dish. The 4% milkfat ensures the sauce has a richer and creamier texture.
  • Milk (Full-fat whole milk): Full-fat milk contributes to the creamy texture and rich flavor. You can use a lower-fat option, but the sauce might not be as rich.
  • Cornstarch: It helps in thickening the sauce.
  • Paprika: It adds a hint of smokey flavor and color to mac and cheese. 
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: I recommend using freshly grated cheese for a smoother sauce. Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents.

👩‍🍳 How To Make Cottage Cheese Mac And Cheese?

Begin by cooking the elbow macaroni per the package instructions until al dente. While pasta is cooking make the sauce.

1, 2) In a blender, add cottage cheese, milk, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, paprika, and grated cheddar cheese. Blend until you achieve a smooth puree.

Collage of 2 images showing blending sauce in blender.

3, 4) Transfer the pureed mixture to a pan and heat on medium. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens slightly.

5, 6) Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, stirring gently to coat the macaroni evenly.

Serve immediately for the best creamy texture and flavor.

Collage of 4 images showing heating sauce and adding cooked macaroni.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Do not overcook the pasta. Follow the instructions on the package for how long to boil the pasta. Use a timer and check the pasta doneness at the shortest time recommended on the package. This means, that when the package says to boil for 8-10 minutes, I would check my pasta at 8 minutes and decide if it needs further cooking. 
  • Ensure corn starch is mixed well to avoid any lumps in the sauce.
  • Grate the cheddar cheese fresh from the block for a smoother sauce.
  • Adjust the Seasoning according to your personal preference. Consider adding a touch of mustard or nutmeg for a flavor twist.
  • If the sauce thickens too much, you can thin it with milk or pasta water.

🥣 Storage Instructions

  • To Refrigerate, Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop slowly, stirring constantly to maintain the texture, adding a splash of milk if needed to regain the creamy consistency.

Note: It is best to avoid freezing as the sauce may separate upon thawing.

📖 Variations

  • Bread Crumbs Topping: For a crunchy contrast, sprinkle panko bread crumbs with a dab of butter on top and broil until golden. 
  • Veggies: Reduce the amount of pasta a little bit and add steamed veggies like broccoli, peas, carrots, corn, etc.
  • Fresh Herbs: Add freshly chopped parsley, chives, or basil for a burst of freshness. 
A bowl of cottage cheese mac and cheese with forks on the side.

Did you try this healthy mac and cheese recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review in the comment section below.

Cottage Cheese Mac And Cheese (Healthy)

5 from 1 vote
A bowl of cottage cheese mac and cheese with forks on the side.
This healthy, protien packed cottage cheese mac and cheese is both creamy and satisfying. It gets ready in 15 minutes and will be a hit among kids and adults.
Kanan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 4

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml)

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Elbow Macaroni Pasta
  • ¾ cup Cottage cheese, 4% milkfat
  • 1 cup Milk, Full-fat whole milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Corn flour (corn starch)
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • 3 oz Sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta al dente, according to package instructions. How to: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Once it starts boiling, add a big pinch of salt and pasta. Stir it once to avoid pasta sticking together. The water will come to a boil again and cook pasta as per the package instruction time (until al dente).
  • In a blender, add cottage cheese, milk, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, paprika, and grated cheddar cheese. Blend until you achieve a smooth puree.
  • Transfer the pureed mixture to a pan and heat on medium. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, stirring gently to coat the macaroni evenly.
  • Serve immediately for the best creamy texture and flavor.

Notes

  • Do not overcook the pasta. Follow the instruction on the package for how long to boil the pasta. Use a timer and check the pasta doneness at the shortest time recommended on the package. This means, that when the package says to boil for 8-10 minutes, I would check my pasta at 8 minutes and decide if it needs further cooking.
  • Ensure corn starch is mixed well to avoid any lumps in the sauce.
  • If the sauce thickens too much, you can thin it with milk or pasta water.

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 49g (16%) | Protein: 17g (34%) | Fat: 12g (18%) | Saturated Fat: 6g (30%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 35mg (12%) | Sodium: 463mg (19%) | Potassium: 151mg (4%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 4g (4%) | Vitamin A: 377IU (8%) | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 259mg (26%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

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