Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. The sauce is just as rich and cheesy but made with lighter ingredients. 

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese always makes a delicious Side Dish that you can serve along with your holiday dinner, or at a Summer BBQ. For more healthy versions of classic sides, try our Healthy Broccoli Salad, Pea Salad, and Macaroni Salad.

Healthy Mac and Cheese in a bowl

HEALTHY CREAMY MACARONI AND CHEESE

This Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with kids and adults alike. It’s the same classic comfort food we all grew up loving, but with just a few tweaks so you can enjoy the pasta and creamy cheese sauce without any guilt.

To make the cheese sauce lower in calories and fat, we’ve made it with light sour cream, light mayonnaise, and cheddar cheese. Unlike most creamy pasta dishes there’s no heavy cream or butter in this recipe. However, the healthy comfort food still has the same creaminess and richness we all expect from mac and cheese.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese up close

This is one of those recipes you’ll find yourself coming back to over and over again. Not only is it a healthier version of a favorite comfort food, but it’s also easy to make in minutes to have ready for dinner time. The delicious side goes with practically any meal. Serve it up with BBQ Chicken, Meatloaf, or Pot Roast for the ultimate hearty family dinner.

Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese on a wooden spoon

MORE SIDE DISH RECIPES

TIPS FOR MAKING HEALTHY MACARONI AND CHEESE

  • Pasta: Start by putting a pot of water over medium heat to boil. Then add your elbow pasta to cook for a few minutes until tender. You want to remove the pot from heat a minute before the time on the pasta package instructions say, so that they are still slightly al dente. Drain the cooked pasta.
  • Cheese sauce mixture: Add the light mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, garlic salt, black pepper, and shredded cheddar cheese to a medium bowl. Stir the sauce mixture together until well combined.
  • Combine: Add the cooked pasta back to the pot, and pour the cheese sauce on top. Turn the stove to medium heat and mix for a few minutes until the pasta is coated and the cheese is completely melted.

Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Collage

VARIATIONS ON HEALTHY CREAMY MACARONI AND CHEESE

  • Vegetables: For extra flavor, texture, and nutrients, you can chop up your favorite vegetables and mix them with the healthy pasta dish. Fresh broccoli florets, squash, baby spinach, cauliflower, or carrots could all taste great. This is also an easy way to sneak a serving of vegetables into your meal.
  • Cheese: Along with the sharp cheddar you can add other favorite varieties of grated cheese to the sauce. Try using Pepper Jack, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Gouda, Goat, or Parmesan cheese.
  • Pasta: You can try different pasta shapes in the recipe. Instead of the classic macaroni shape pasta, try out rotini, penne, bowtie, or shell noodles. You can also try a healthier replacement for white pasta by using wheat macaroni or use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free recipe.
  • Protein: If you want to serve this pasta dish for dinner, you can make it into a more filling meal by adding in some meat. Cooked chicken pieces or turkey would taste great. If you want to keep the dish vegetarian, try adding in some chickpeas.
  • Add-ins: For some flavor additions, add your favorite seasonings like paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano, or nutmeg. To give the Mac & Cheese a delicious topping sprinkle on some panko breadcrumbs and bacon bits.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese in a pot with wooden spoon

MORE PASTA DISHES

HOW TO STORE HEALTHY CREAMY MACARONI AND CHEESE

  • Serve: Don’t leave this Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: If you have leftovers, you can cover the dish with foil or transfer the pasta to an airtight container to store in the refrigerator and eat later in the week. It will stay good for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze: You could also freeze Mac and Cheese for up to 10 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and then pop it in the microwave or the oven to reheat it.

Healthy Mac and Cheese in a pot with wooden spoon

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe
Cooking Made Healthy

Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. The sauce is just as rich and cheesy, but made with lighter ingredients. 
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder
Healthy Macaroni and Cheese in a bowl

Ingredients
 

  • 12 ounces large elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese , freshly shredded

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta 1 minute shy of the directions on the box.
  • In a medium bowl stir together mayonnaise, light sour cream, mustard, garlic salt, black pepper, and cheddar cheese.
  • Remove the pasta from the pot and drain the water.
  • Add the pasta and mixed ingredients back to the pot and stir well until fully melted and creamy on medium heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 242IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Healthy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a trained professional chef who has cooked for private clients for over a dozen years. Experienced in handling dietary restrictions, allergies and picky kid eaters, she's well versed in coming up with healthy, yet flavorful recipes.

Categories

Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.