To make this rich mac and cheese recipe healthier we use whole wheat bread crumbs, low-fat milk and cheese, whole wheat noodles, and reduced the amount of butter. Serve with a salad for a healthy meatless dinner.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.

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  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a roux. Slowly add milk to roux, stirring constantly. Stir in Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and sauce is thick, about 3 minutes. Place macaroni in large baking dish and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir until butter is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Spread over macaroni to cover. Sprinkle with paprika.

  • Bake in preheated oven until cheese sauce is hot and breadcrumbs are browned, about 30 minutes.

Editor's Note:

This recipe is a healthier version of Homemade Mac and Cheese.

Nutrition Facts

770 calories; protein 42.5g 85% DV; carbohydrates 106.6g 34% DV; fat 22.4g 35% DV; cholesterol 60.3mg 20% DV; sodium 750.2mg 30% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (22)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/20/2012
I oversaw my oldest boy making this dish--I didn't give him much advice, other than explain how to make a roux properly because the directions did not explain to brown it before adding the milk and to gradually add the cheese so the sauce does not seize up. He used sharp white cheddar cheese and added a couple shakes Frank's Hot Sauce and four quartered all beef hot dogs, as he wanted to make it a little more personal. The kids and I loved this macaroni and cheese recipe and my son was quite tickled that he was able to make it on his own. Read More
(51)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/30/2012
This was pretty good but I think for the calories/fat content you might as well use regular cheese. I find it makes a big difference with the taste and regular cheese melts more easily. A few other things I found: -definitely make sure to add cheese very gradually into the milk (esp. with low fat cheese) -don't worry if the cheese sauce comes out runny (it thickens up in the oven) -some chili powder works well in the sauce -I'm betting a little sauteed onion would add some great flavor Read More
(27)
29 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
07/19/2012
I oversaw my oldest boy making this dish--I didn't give him much advice, other than explain how to make a roux properly because the directions did not explain to brown it before adding the milk and to gradually add the cheese so the sauce does not seize up. He used sharp white cheddar cheese and added a couple shakes Frank's Hot Sauce and four quartered all beef hot dogs, as he wanted to make it a little more personal. The kids and I loved this macaroni and cheese recipe and my son was quite tickled that he was able to make it on his own. Read More
(51)
Rating: 5 stars
08/04/2012
I used fat free milk (2 cups instead of 3 for 4 servings) and skipped the breadcrumbs, and it turned out quite delicious. I added some more paprika, black pepper and tiny bit of chili powder for an extra kick. Read More
(31)
Rating: 3 stars
08/30/2012
This was pretty good but I think for the calories/fat content you might as well use regular cheese. I find it makes a big difference with the taste and regular cheese melts more easily. A few other things I found: -definitely make sure to add cheese very gradually into the milk (esp. with low fat cheese) -don't worry if the cheese sauce comes out runny (it thickens up in the oven) -some chili powder works well in the sauce -I'm betting a little sauteed onion would add some great flavor Read More
(27)
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Rating: 2 stars
10/19/2012
This recipe is bland. I added a lot of extra parm cheese which helped. Also the recipe says it makes four servings but it actually makes at least 12. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
07/23/2012
Top-notch! Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
09/05/2012
Turned out a little dry. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 2 stars
08/21/2015
The cheese sauce came out a weird texture and it didn't have a very strong cheese taste Read More
(1)
Rating: 2 stars
12/12/2013
I liked that it used less butter but did not come out well. Lacked taste and was very watery. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
07/14/2016
used almond milk instead and halfed the butter with olive oil a little cheddar and parmesan broiled each dish in toaster until breadcrumbs crisped up perfect! Read More