This delicious take on classic boxed mac and cheese has less calories but all the creaminess. All you need are a few ingredients for this quick, comforting meal.
This boxed mac and cheese makeover was one of the first recipes I developed here on A Duck’s Oven as a college student learning how to cook and live just a little bit healthier, before the days of my cookbook, Everyday Sous Vide. I quickly became a pro at the college staple makeover and have another post that will teach you how to make canned tomato soup better, too!
This swap is a simple one. Instead of using butter and milk, swap it for low fat cottage cheese! It still gives it that creamy flavor without being quite so heavy. I also threw in some broccoli to up the health quotient!
What boxed mac and cheese should I use?
Any boxed mac and cheese will work, but here are some of my favorites:
- The classic blue box: Kraft Mac and Cheese
- Banza Mac and Cheese (the noodles are made with chickpeas!)
- Annie’s Shells and Real Aged Cheddar
How to Make Healthified Boxed Mac n Cheese
This really isn’t going to be all that different than making a box of mac n cheese as you normally would, but the important difference is boiling broccoli with the noodles.
I find 7 minutes to be the magic cooking time for both the noodles and the broccoli, but feel free to adjust to your liking.
Drain the noodles and broccoli when they’re done, stir in cottage cheese and the cheese packet, and that’s it!
Depending on your cottage cheese, you may want to add in a little milk to make it creamier. If you do, just do 1 tbsp at a time until you get the consistency you like.
Get the Recipe:
Healthified Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 box of macaroni and cheese, such as Kraft
- 1/2 cup low fat, small curd cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the salt.
- Boil the pasta from the box of macaroni and cheese and the broccoli for 7 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
- Stir in the powdered cheese and cottage cheese until well combined.
Just evening it out
Can you use frozen peas instead of broccoli as I am boiling the noodles?
This version with cottage cheese is excellent. And, healthier. My high blood pressure plus minor lifestyle measures has helped to normalize. I do add some soften cherry tomatoes to heighten the taste. It’s a great meatless dish.
Surprisingly good with the cottage cheese. Mine left some curd chucks which I did notice but didn’t stop me from wolfing it. Might try blending it up a bit or wondering if ricotta cheese would work as I use cottage cheese in my lasagna instead of ricotta? Really loved it with the broccoli and the ease of cooking it that way! I use chickpea pasta and was worried the broccoli would get all gummy and gross but it didn’t! New fav weekend meal, now just to get my kid to try it with the broccoli!