Rating: 5 stars
2 Ratings
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An awesome take on macaroni and cheese! Fat-free Greek yogurt and low-fat cream cheese gives the sauce a very creamy and flavorful base--without all the fat found in heavy cream--and shredded cheeses add lots of intense flavor. Fresh spinach and salty prosciutto perfectly complement the dish!


Recipe Summary

50 mins
1 hr
10 mins
12 servings


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Set an oven rack to the top position and preheat to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain macaroni, reserving 2 1/2 cups pasta water. Pour macaroni back into the pot.

  • While the macaroni is cooking, place prosciutto on the prepared baking pan.

  • Cook prosciutto on the top rack of the preheated oven until dry and crispy, but not burnt, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop roughly. Lower the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and lower the rack to the middle position.

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and pepper; cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in Greek yogurt and cook until heated through and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the reserved pasta water; cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add a generous 1/4 cup each of Gruyere and Cheddar cheeses, stirring until thoroughly melted; repeat until all cheese had been added and sauce is thick. Stir in as much of the remaining pasta water as necessary to reach desired consistency.

  • Stir spinach into the cooked macaroni. Add cheese sauce; stir until combined and macaroni is coated. Pour into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle prosciutto over top.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are bubbling slightly, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

This recipe is very forgiving with the type of dairy products you use. I use regular (full-fat) shredded cheese, but you can use reduced-fat cheeses too. You can use low-fat Greek yogurt and regular (full-fat) cream cheese, too.

I would not use frozen spinach because the high water content can make the dish watery and runny. But try using arugula for spinach for a slightly spicy flavor.

This recipe also works in the slow cooker! Omit the flour. Boil pasta for just a few minutes, cooked about halfway through and not yet at al dente. Add butter, spices, Greek yogurt, 1 cup of pasta water (not 1 1/2 cups), cream cheese, shredded cheese, and pasta to the slow cooker. Cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours until pasta is cooked through. Add spinach 30 minutes before dish is finished in the slow cooker. Top with prosciutto.

Nutrition Facts

353 calories; protein 16.5g; carbohydrates 32.2g; fat 17.5g; cholesterol 49.6mg; sodium 241.4mg. Full Nutrition