Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese

COTTAGE CHEESE MAC AND CHEESE

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This mouthwatering cottage cheese mac and cheese is classic comfort food! With a rich and creamy cheese sauce, you won’t believe that it is made with cottage cheese. This healthier mac and cheese is packed with protein and has a velvety texture without extra fat. It is flourless, easy to whip up, and promises pure deliciousness in every bite. Get ready to savor the creamy goodness of this mac and cheese without compromising on taste!

Cooked macaroni and cheese in baking dish

Why You Will Love High-Protein Mac and Cheese

  • The cottage cheese adds a rich creaminess, without the need for cream or butter.
  • It is packed with flavor while being lightened up.
  • Cottage cheese mac and cheese is easy to make! Just blend the ingredients for the sauce, cook your pasta, bake the mac and cheese to warm it up, and enjoy!
  • It is simple to make this recipe. The cottage cheese is baked in the oven until warm. You don’t have to mix the sauce in a saucepan or add cornstarch to thicken it. The oven does most of the work for you.
  • It is an effortless comfort food classic made healthier.
  • There is no butter, flour, or heavy cream in this mac and cheese!
  • You can customize this recipe by using your favorite pasta or a low-carb version, and your favorite cheeses.

What Is Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese?

Cottage cheese mac and cheese is a delicious protein-packed variation of classic macaroni and cheese. Cottage cheese is used as the key ingredient in the sauce instead of loads of butter or cream. The cottage cheese adds protein, is a healthier option, and makes the texture creamy and rich. Our version of cottage cheese mac and cheese is a healthier option that retains the comfort and flavor of the original dish! It is a must-try if you love mac and cheese!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for cottage cheese mac and cheese
  • Cottage Cheese: You can make this mac and cheese with fat-free, low-fat, or full-fat cottage cheese.
  • Milk: Add two tablespoons of milk to make the sauce the ideal consistency.
  • Onion Powder: A small amount of onion powder for flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: The garlic powder adds flavor to the sauce.
  • Salt: Add the salt to the sauce to enhance the flavors.
  • Cheddar Cheese Powder: Use cheddar cheese powder to give the sauce a cheesy flavor while keeping this recipe lightened up. The cheddar cheese powder reduces the amount of shredded cheese you need to add to get that delicious cheesy mac and cheese flavor.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Use two ounces of shredded cheddar cheese to give this mac and cheese an even more cheesy flavor.
  • Elbow Pasta: For the classic macaroni and cheese look, cook elbow macaroni. Or, use your favorite pasta of choice. We used Fiber Gourmet light elbow pasta.

How To Make Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese

Step 1: Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Step 2: Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and rinse it with cold water. Ensure the pasta is completely drained.

Cooked drained elbow macaroni

Step 3: Add the cottage cheese, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cheddar cheese powder to a blender. Or, add the ingredients to a food processor.

Ingredients for high protein mac and cheese in blender

Step 4: Blend the ingredients until smooth.

Blended cheese sauce for mac and cheese

Step 5: Add the drained cooked pasta to a large bowl. Then, add the blended sauce and shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl. Add all the shredded cheese or save some to sprinkle on top before baking.

Pasta in bowl with sauce and cheese

Step 6: Thoroughly mix the ingredients in the bowl.

Mixed mac and cheese

Step 7: Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a baking dish. Top the baking dish with the optional remaining shredded cheese.

Mac and cheese topped with cheese

Step 8: Bake the mac and cheese in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-12 minutes, or until warmed through and bubbly. Once done, carefully remove it from the oven and serve while it’s warm.

Mac and cheese in dish

What To Serve With Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese can be served as a main course or side dish. It’s an incredibly delicious dish to serve at picnics, potlucks, and gatherings. Or, enjoy it as cozy comfort food any night of the week. Also, this mac and cheese pairs well with a side salad, tomato soup, a cooked protein, or roasted vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, or brussels sprouts.

Expert Tips

  • Drain The Pasta: Ensure that you drain all the water from the pasta so there isn’t any excess liquid when you add the cooked pasta to the bowl.
  • Blend The Sauce: Thoroughly blend all the ingredients in the blender so the sauce is creamy and smooth. You don’t want any un-blended lumps of cottage cheese in your sauce.
  • Bake The Mac and Cheese: Bake this cottage cheese mac and cheese in a baking dish to warm it up. Don’t heat it in a saucepan on the stove as it is harder to control the heat. It may get too hot, which can cause the sauce to separate. To prevent this, bake this mac and cheese in the oven so the sauce cooks at a consistent temperature and stays intact.
  • Cheddar Cheese Powder To Use: We used Judee’s cheddar cheese powder. Another great option is Anthony’s cheddar cheese powder.
  • The Best Pasta To Use: You can use your pasta of choice for this mac and cheese recipe. We used Fiber Gourmet elbow macaroni, which is lower in calories than traditional pasta and lower in carbs. To get 15% off Fiber Gourmet pasta, use our code healthyfoodiegirl. You can also change the shape of the pasta you use, and you don’t have to use elbow macaroni. Some other great options are shells, penne, and rigatoni.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover cottage cheese macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat it in the oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through. Add a splash of milk when reheating it.

Variations

  • Cheese Variations: Try another cheese for your mac and cheese. You can use a variety of cheeses such as Monterey Jack, Gruyère, Parmesan, and Gouda. Try one or in combination to change up the flavor of your mac and cheese. You can even make this mac and cheese with white cheddar powder and shredded white cheddar instead.
  • Milk To Use: You can use any milk of your choice. Or, use a milk alternative such as almond, soy, cashew, or oat milk if you prefer.
  • Top With Herbs: If you want, top with fresh chopped herbs, such as basil, before serving.
  • Add Spice: Mix in some crunchy chili oil before serving for a kick of heat. Or, kick up the heat and add some jalapeños.
  • Add Bacon: Mix in some chopped cooked bacon or turkey bacon.
  • Chicken: Mix in some fully cooked shredded chicken to add even more protein.
  • Breadcrumbs: You can add some breadcrumbs on top before baking this mac and cheese for a crispy topping.
  • Add Smoked Paprika: Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the sauce if you want a slightly smoky flavor in your mac and cheese.
  • Tomato Macaroni: If you love tomatoes try 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes added into this recipe, or 1/4 cup of tomato sauce for a delicious tomato mac and cheese.
  • Add Butternut Squash: You can add 1/2 cup of pureed cooked butternut squash to this mac and cheese.
  • Add Lobster: You can incorporate chunks of cooked lobster meat into this macaroni and cheese for a luxurious and indulgent dish.
  • Truffle Flavor: You can infuse this mac and cheese with truffle oil or truffle butter. If you do this, add two teaspoons to this recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Add Cottage Cheese To Mac and Cheese?

Yes, you can add cottage cheese to mac and cheese. Cottage cheese makes for a delicious and creamy sauce when blended. We added cottage cheese to the sauce for this recipe. I love adding cottage cheese because it has a mild flavor, and its creamy texture is perfect for mac and cheese! Plus, even if you’re not a fan of the texture of cottage cheese, you don’t even notice it since the cottage cheese is blended into the sauce!

Is Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese Healthy?

This mac and cheese with cottage cheese is healthy! It is a lightened-up version of the comfort food classic. Our version is lower in fat and calories than traditional mac and cheese. We used fat-free cottage cheese rather than heavy cream, butter, and loads of cheese. We added cheddar cheese powder to the sauce to reduce the amount of shredded cheese needed. You still get the delicious, cheesy, and crave-worthy flavor of mac and cheese. Also, we used Fiber Gourmet pasta, which is lower in calories and carbs than traditional pasta.

Is This Mac and Cheese Gluten-Free?

The sauce for this mac and cheese is naturally gluten-free. Also, there are no breadcrumbs or flour in this recipe. To make the entire dish gluten-free use gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta.

More High-Protein Recipes To Try Next!

If you try this recipe please be sure to leave us a comment and star rating ★★★★★ letting us know how it turns out for you.

COTTAGE CHEESE MAC AND CHEESE

Recipe by Shawna
4.7 from 3 votes
Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

191

kcal

This high-protein cottage cheese mac and cheese is classic comfort food! With a rich and creamy sauce, you won’t believe that it is made with cottage cheese.

Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • 1 CUP cottage cheese, fat-free, low-fat, or full-fat

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 CUP cheddar cheese powder, I like Judee’s or Anthony’s cheddar powder

  • 2 oz light shredded cheddar cheese, or fat-free, reduced-fat, or full-fat

  • 8 oz dried elbow macaroni or pasta of choice, we used Fiber Gourmet

Directions

  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions in a large pot of salted boiling water.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it with cold water and drain it in a colander.
  • Add the cottage cheese, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cheddar cheese powder to a blender or food processor.
  • Blend the ingredients until smooth.
  • Add the drained cooked pasta to a large bowl. Then, add the blended sauce and shredded cheddar cheese to the bowl. You can add all the shredded cheese now or save some to sprinkle on top before baking.
  • Thoroughly mix the ingredients in the bowl to evenly coat the pasta.
  • Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to a baking dish. Top the baking dish with the optional remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake the mac and cheese in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-12 minutes, or until warmed through and bubbly. Once done, carefully remove it from the oven, serve this mac and cheese warm, and enjoy!

Equipment

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • The WW points and calories are based on using fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free shredded cheddar cheese, and Fiber Gourmet pasta.
  • WW Points™: 5 points per serving
  • To see your WW Points™ in the WW app for this recipe click here! Or, please manually add the ingredients to the recipe builder.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently. It could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container


  • Amount Per ServingCalories191
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 2.7g 4%
    • Saturated Fat 0.8g 0%
  • Cholesterol 9mg 3%
  • Sodium 872mg 37%
  • Potassium 58mg 2%
  • Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
    • Dietary Fiber 15.9g 60%
    • Sugars 5.4g
  • Protein 15.5g 30%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    2 Comments

    1. hi what is the serving size?
      cup? half cup?
      thanks

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