A childhood favorite made with better-for-you ingredients and packed with protein for a filling meal that you can feel good about!

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high protein mac & cheese

Summer is officially here, and that means it’s cookout season! While you probably won’t catch me behind the grill, you will catch me bringing all the good side dishes (and they’ll probably be sneaky healthier). I usually bring something like healthier street corn or Oreo fluff dip for dessert, but lately I’ve had an unshakeable craving for mac and cheese. While there are some healthier Mac and cheese options out there, most of them are still loaded with preservatives and just full of empty carbs, which is a bummer. So I set out to create a mac and cheese that was not only made with better ingredients, but actually has some nutritional value as well. That’s how this high protein mac and cheese was created, and I’m so excited to share it with you! 

Making high protein Mac and cheese 

If you’ve ever made mac and cheese the old fashioned way, you know that it can be a labor intensive process. You have to make a roux and carefully craft a cheese sauce that’s silky and creamy but still thick enough. While the end result is usually satisfying; most week nights, I can’t be bothered with all that. 

This high protein mac and cheese is way simpler to make. Just cook your pasta, blend your sauce, and then heat them up to bring it all together. 

high protein mac & cheese

To start, you’re going to want to use a protein pasta that you like (I used Brami brand), cook it according to package instructions, drain, and set aside. I always recommend reserving about a cup of pasta water because it helps make the sauce thinner/creamier and is great for when you need to reheat. While your pasta cooks, combine all of the ingredients for the cheese sauce in the blender. Blend until smooth. 

In a medium saucepan (I used the same one I had just cooked the pasta in because the less dishes the better), heat your butter or oil and then pour in the cheese sauce mixture. Stir over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, until melty and thick. If it’s too thick, you can add some pasta water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more cornstarch. Then, add in your pasta and give it a good stir to fully coat. I garnish this with some fresh chives and it’s perfect! The best part? There’s ~25g of protein in a cup of this, without adding any meat! Pair this with some bbq chicken or ribs for an absolute protein powerhouse and enjoy! 

high protein mac & cheese

High Protein Mac & Cheese

Jacklin Altman
A protein-packed rendition of a childhood favorite! Creamy, cheesy, and made healthier.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 1 cup servings
Calories 336 kcal

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Sauce pan

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz protein pasta cooked and drained
  • 1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup fat free cheddar cheese shredded, or use fresh shredded cheddar for a creamier sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese grated or shredded, can be fresh shredded as well
  • 2 tsp salted butter or use oil or butter substitute

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and set aside. Reserve some pasta water.
  • In a blender, combine milk, cottage cheese, shredded cheddar, Parmesan, corn starch, and seasonings and blend until smooth.
  • In a large pot (I used the same one I just cooked the pasta in), melt 2 tsp of butter, then add the blended cheese sauce over medium heat and stir frequently as it heats up. Within 5 minutes, it should be just bubbling and significantly thicker. You can add some pasta water to thin it if needed, or add a little corn starch if it needs to be thicker.
  • Once thickened and melty, add pasta back in and mix to coat your noodles. Adjust seasoning to your taste preference and garnish with some fresh chopped chives. Enjoy!

Notes

Each 1 cup serving is 7 points on WW. Click here to add to WW app.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 27gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 926mgPotassium: 515mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 720IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 405mgIron: 1mg
Keyword side dish, cottage cheese, high protein, weight watchers, WW, pasta, cheese, protein shake
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