8 Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners

Want to enjoy mac and cheese but are health conscious? Don’t you worry because we are here to the rescue.

We have brought healthy macaroni and cheese recipes that fall under the healthy food category and will keep a check on your health and diet and comfort your taste buds with the cheesy, creamy, and irresistible sauce of mac and cheese.

Healthy mac and cheese have their way of leaving you hooked on the dish. Scroll down and keep reading to know about healthy mac and cheese and more healthy pasta recipes.

Is Mac and Cheese Healthy As It Is Said?

Many mac and cheese recipes are quite unhealthy, and they are only soothing to the taste buds but not your health. A small plate full of traditional mac and cheese can be high in calories, saturated fats, sodium, and low in nutrients.

But the nutritional content depends completely on the recipes. If you want healthy macaroni and cheese, you need to change your ingredients, and you will be satisfied with your final result.

Milk and cheese are used to make macaroni and cheese, so you are getting a good amount of protein from them, but it won’t take long to elevate the calories in your healthy mac and cheese, which can turn out to be not so healthy.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Ronaldo de Oliveira on Unsplash

To reduce calories and increase nutrients, one can use skim milk or unsweetened almond milk to cut off the content of saturated fat found in macaroni and cheese. Not only that but using reduced-fat cheddar cheese can also cut off the content of saturated fat. So you see, it is the recipe needed to change to make a healthy mac and cheese.

One can minimize the use of butter, though healthy mac and cheese are prepared using significantly less butter. One can add more green veggies that contain fiber to boost the mac and cheese fiber content. When your mac and cheese is less in saturated fat and more in fiber, protein, and vitamins, you know you are feasting on a healthy mac and cheese that is soothing to your taste buds as well as your health.

How To Prepare Healthy Mac And Cheese?

If you love mac and cheese and want to find a healthier way to enjoy this creamy and comforting food, here is the recipe you have been looking for.

If you are up for homemade macaroni and cheese, you are making the right choice. If you are up for homemade macaroni and cheese, you are making the right choice. This creamy macaroni and cheese recipe has added fiber, vitamins, and proteins- thanks to all the veggies that check your health and decorate your plate- and is much lighter than the usual mac and cheese recipe with a good content of saturated fat.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Image by Social Butterfly from Pixabay

This lunch or dinner cuisine will provide you with comfort, and all you will want to do is close your eyes and enjoy the creamy delight of this healthy mac and cheese as the cheese sauce completely melts in your mouth.

Follow our entire recipe, and you will be able to enjoy this lunch or dinner cuisine often, whenever your heart wants it, but not frequently as you need to keep a check on your health and diet too.

Ingredients And Supplies Needed For Healthy Mac And Cheese

One needs many ingredients to make mac n cheese, but it’s all worth it if you aim to have a delicious, delightful, and healthy mac n cheese. Our recipe is as rich and cheesy, creamy delight as the traditional mac and cheese, even though the saturated fat and calories have been struck off.

The amount of each ingredient mentioned below is for eight servings.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of whole wheat pasta- any shape of your choice
  • 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, skim milk, oat milk, or regular milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard powder
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 cup of reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded or Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour

Supplies

  • Saucepan
  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Whisk
  • Baking dish
  • Spatula
Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

Steps To Follow For Making Healthy Mac And Cheese

1. Take a large pot. First, add salted water to it and then add whole wheat pasta and broccoli florets in the salty water. Cook pasta as per the package directions until al dente. It must take around 8 to 10 minutes to reach the desired firmness.

If you are baking your mac and cheese, take a baking dish and grease it with cooking oil while the pasta is being cooked. Also, preheat your oven to 375 °F.

2. After the pasta and broccoli florets are cooked, drain them and keep them aside in a colander.

3. For the cheese sauce, take a saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add gluten-free flour and minced onions on the melted butter and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. You must keep stirring until the flour, and the onion turns golden brown.

4. Further in the saucepan, pour milk and vegetable or chicken broth and continue whisking in medium-high heat. Whisk the sauce until it becomes thick and creamy. If you want to season it, add salt, garlic powder, mustard powder, and pepper and whisk the sauce with the new ingredients some more.

5. Once the sauce has become thick and creamy, turn the heat to low and add cheese. Keep whisking the sauce while you add the shredded Parmesan cheese or shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese slowly. Once added, stir everything until the shredded cheese melts completely and the sauce turns more smooth, thick, and creamy.

6. After the sauce is prepared well and thick, remove it from the heat.

7. Add drained pasta and broccoli to the cheese sauce and stir and fold it until the cooked pasta and cheese sauce have combined very well. You can add salt and pepper to enhance the taste of mac n cheese as per your choice.

8. If you are not baking your macaroni and cheese, serve immediately till it’s hot and tasty.

If you are baking your macaroni and cheese, pour the mixed macaroni and cheese sauce into the baking dish you prepared with cooking oil earlier. You can top it with grated cheddar cheese and whole wheat bread crumbs. Spray a little more oil on the top of the macaroni and cheese.

9. Bake the macaroni and cheese for at least 20 to 25 minutes and then broil further for a couple of minutes so that the grated cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs toppings turn to a golden brown.

10. Serve immediately after you take it out of the oven.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Mariana Ibanez on Unsplash

That is how you make a creamy, delicious, and healthy mac and cheese.

Your special mac and cheese can be made more special and luxurious by seasoning it as you like- you can use chili powder, soya sauce, honey, or paprika to elevate the level of deliciousness. You can add spices of your choice while making the cheese sauce to add depth, richness, and creaminess.

Serve your healthy mac and cheese immediately after taking it out of your oven or putting it down from the heat. Enjoy the pasta’s creamy, soft, and smooth texture while it is still hot and the cheese sauce is thick and creamy.

The pasta absorbs liquid, so you would not want all the delicious and creamy cheese sauce absorbed by the pasta. Before your healthy mac and cheese dry out of its taste bud tantalizing cheese sauce, you must devour it because, without cheese sauce, you won’t be able to enjoy every bite of mac and cheese.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Baking also dries out mac and cheese, and therefore baking needs more cheese sauce. So it is an option to bake your mac and cheese, but if you like your healthy mac and cheese crunchy, you can always go for it.

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Creamy Cheese Sauce?

Your healthy mac and cheese will be tasty when your cheese sauce is rich in cheese and spices (if you are adding) and is smooth, thick, and creamy, and you will be able to enjoy a healthy mac and cheese only when there is cheesy and delightful sauce covering the macaroni.

To get the perfect, cheesy, thick, and delicious sauce and to enjoy your delicious and healthy mac and cheese, keep these few tips in mind:

A) Shred The Cheese On Your Own

You can always buy shredded cheese from the grocery store, but if you want to have a smooth and creamy sauce where the cheese melts and blends perfectly, then a little effort from you to grate the cheese will be better.

B) Do Not Add Cheese Before You Make White Sauce

First, you should always make the sauce without the cheese or white sauce. Start by adding the milk, broth, and flour in the melted butter and when the sauce becomes thick and creamy after stirring, add grated cheddar cheese slowly and keep stirring while you add so that it melts perfectly and turns into a creamy cheese sauce.

C) Add Grated Cheese After You Remove The Sauce From Heat

Another tip to follow to make the cheese sauce a perfect one, add grated cheddar cheese after you have removed the saucepan or container in which you are making the white sauce from heat, or simply turn the heat to very low. Doing so will give you the best results out of your cheese sauce.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Ted Murphy on Flickr

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe?

Who would not want to make their mac and cheese delicious and the best? When your taste buds, as well as your heart, craves for more mac and cheese even after your stomach is contented, that is when you know that your macaroni and cheese has been the best.

Here are some tips for you to follow that will help you to make your healthy mac and cheese tastier than ever:

A) Cook Pasta For Al Dente In Salted Water

You might know it or not, but the salted water also acts as a huge difference-maker while you prepare your healthy mac and cheese. Salted water brings out the flavor of the pasta and also makes it smooth and soft.

B) Always Follow The Package Directions

It is better to cook the pasta for al dente according to the package directions; only then will your pasta be perfect at the end.

C) Make Your Cheese Sauce By Keeping The Heat Low

Always remember to cook the sauce on medium or low heat. Your sauce might burn out if you keep the flame high.

D) Stir The Cheese Sauce Until It Becomes Thick And Smooth

Whisk your content every time you add shredded cheese to your sauce so that the cheese melts in and mixes perfectly, and keep stirring the whole cheese sauce until everything blends perfectly and the sauce turns out to be creamy, smooth, and thick.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by David Joyce on Flickr

How To Make Your Healthy Mac And Cheese Even More Healthy?

Your mac and cheese is already healthy if you have followed our macaroni and cheese recipe, but do you know you can make it even more nutritious? There are always lots of options to make your food healthier than before.

You can add sweet potatoes, chilled green peas, roasted chickpeas, or edamame beans to your mac and cheese and have a healthy dish that is full of fiber. Instead of broccoli florets, you can add cauliflower. Also, you can add spinach at the end into your hot mac and cheese and increase the greens on your plate. Overall, you can add any green veggies that you like to your healthy mac and cheese and elevate the taste.

When opting for a non-vegan mac and cheese, you can pair up your healthy mac and cheese with chicken or shrimp.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Elizabeth on Flickr

Other ways to make your healthy mac and cheese healthier while you are in the middle of the mac and cheese recipe are to minimize the amount of butter, use reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and use skim milk.

How To Store Healthy Mac And Cheese?

If you are thinking of storing your homemade macaroni and cheese, you can simply store it in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator for almost 3 to 4 days. Until then, your healthy mac and cheese will be intact but remember to eat it soon.

If you want to freeze leftovers of healthy mac and cheese and then store them, freeze them after keeping them in airtight freezer-safe containers in small portions, but it is recommended not to freeze leftovers of mac and cheese. After you take out your frozen bits, reheat them for 3 to 4 minutes while you keep stirring the mac and cheese.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by jeffreyw on Flickr

Other Healthy And Popular Recipes Of Mac And Cheese

Following the steps of our simple mac and cheese recipe, you can bring out many different healthier mac and cheese recipes. You don’t need to change the basic recipe completely but just have to add or strike off some ingredients, and you will be able to enjoy a different mac and cheese, which is healthy, flavorful, creamy, and delightful.

Mentioned below are eight more healthy pasta recipes. These healthy recipes will bring a variation to your taste:

1. Cauliflower Mac And Cheese

If you are not a fan of broccoli, simply swap them with tasty cauliflowers. Increase your appetite as well as the greens in your plate or bowl.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chopped cauliflower florets
  • Pasta
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper

2. Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese

Who won’t love the touch of soft chicken with creamy, smooth, and healthy mac and cheese?

Ingredients Needed

  • Pasta
  • Skinless and boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper

3. Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese

Make the greens in your plate more delightful by roasting and spreading them in your healthy mac and cheese.

Ingredients Needed

  • Pasta
  • Butter
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper

4. Greek Yogurt Mac And Cheese

With the already creamy macaroni and cheese, it is time to make it yummier by adding tasty and creamy yogurt.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chickpea pasta
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Plain Greek yogurt

5. Healthier Taco Mac and Cheese

Blend the goodness of taco and macaroni and cheese by making this healthy macaroni and cheese.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chickpea pasta
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Ground beef taco skillet sauce

6. Tuna Mac and Cheese

Just a touch of tuna to boring vegan macaroni and cheese can elevate the taste to an infinite level.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chickpea pasta
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Tuna drained and flaked
  • Sliced mushrooms, drained

7. Vegan Butternut Squash Mac And Cheese

Enjoy the sweet and nutty taste of this winter squash with delightful macaroni and cheese.

Ingredients Needed

  • Pasta
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Almond milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Butternut squash

8. Spaghetti Squash Mac And Cheese

Feel the goodness of macaroni and cheese inside spaghetti squash and make your day better.

Ingredients Needed

  • Gluten-free Pasta
  • Butter
  • Minced onion
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Spaghetti squash
Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Gail on Flickr

Recipe FAQs

1. Is there any other recipe for gluten-free mac and cheese?

You can make this healthy mac and cheese recipe gluten-free, and you do not have to look for other gluten-free recipes to enjoy mac and cheese. All you need to do is use gluten-free pasta (you can opt for chickpea pasta) and gluten-free flour.

If you are baking your healthy mac and cheese and want to add bread crumbs, you can use gluten-free bread and pulse it in a food processor to get gluten-free bread crumbs.

2. What cheese should I use to make healthy mac and cheese?

You can simply choose any cheese near your hands or find it in the grocery store, but to make the creamiest cheesy sauce for healthy mac and cheese, it is recommended to get cheddar cheese and shred it yourself.

Shredding the cheese can take some time, but it is better than buying pre-shredded cheese because your shredded cheese will be fresh, and you will be able to put fresh ingredients in your healthy mac and cheese. But it is totally up to you that which cheese you will choose. You can also try out reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

3. How to make my healthy mac and cheese recipe vegan?

To make your healthy mac and cheese recipe vegan, all you need to do is use vegan butter, vegan cheddar cheese (pre-shredded cheese or non-shredded), and vegan cream cheese.

4. How to grease my baking dish without using cooking spray?

You can grease and prepare your baking dish before putting it in the oven with healthy mac and cheese in it by coating the inner walls with a little bit of butter, or you can use olive oil too to grease the dish.

Healthy Mac And Cheese Recipe For Beginners
Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

That was all that a beginner needs to know about healthy mac and cheese.

Healthy mac and cheese have various recipes. Try out all the mac and cheese recipes one by one, experiment with ingredients, try different shaped pasta, and see how your healthy mac and cheese turns out.

Whenever you are craving mac and cheese, you know you have our healthy recipes right here to direct you, but no matter how you make it, this creamy and saucy delight will leave you craving for more and more.

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Avatar of Pratyusha Biswas
Pratyusha Biswas
Pathetically introverted and a bibliophile

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!

spot_img

Related Articles