Kirbie's Cravings

3 Ingredient Healthier Macaroni and Cheese

This creamy macaroni and cheese is healthier than classic macaroni and cheese, but you won’t be able to tell. It is just as creamy and cheesy as regular macaroni and cheese. This macaroni and cheese is easy to make and only needs 3 ingredients.

I love finding ways to make recipes a little healthier. This macaroni and cheese has less fat and calories than most regular macaroni and cheese recipes.


  • Elbow macaroni
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese

Elbow macaroni: I use elbow macaroni to make this but you can also use other pasta shapes.

Cheddar cheese: Either white or yellow cheddar cheese will work but I like to use white because if you use yellow cheddar cheese, the finished dish will come out a lighter shade of yellow than regular macaroni and cheese. I recommend using an extra sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor.

Cottage cheese: The key to this macaroni and cheese staying just as rich and creamy as the original but with less fat and calories is cottage cheese. Cottage cheese has less fat and calories than cheddar cheese but still adds cheese flavor to the dish. The cottage cheese is first blended until smooth before being added to the cheese sauce.

How to Make Healthier Macaroni and Cheese

  • The macaroni is first cooked in boiling water. You will only need enough water to just barely cover the pasta and you cook it down until there is only about 1/2 cup of water remaining. This method allows you to use the starches from the pasta to help create a thick sauce.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the blended cottage cheese.
  • Finally, add in the shredded cheese and stir until melted.

More Pasta Recipes

3 Ingredient Healthier Macaroni and Cheese

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
This creamy macaroni and cheese is healthier than classic macaroni and cheese but you won't be able to tell! It's creamy, rich and has less fat and calories than regular macaroni and cheese. It's an easy one pot recipe.


  • 1 cup (226 g) low fat cottage cheese
  • 8 oz (227 g) elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups (170 g) freshly shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese


  • Blend cottage cheese until completely smooth. You can do this a few different way, such an immersion blender, small food processor or blender. If you use a small food processor or blender you will have to stop and scrape the sides a few times to help the processor or blender blend. If you’re having a hard time getting it to blend, add about 1 tablespoon of water to help get it moving. Set aside to come to room temperature. This is an important step.
  • Add macaroni to a large pot. Add enough water to just barely cover the macaroni. I needed just a little over 2 cups.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Cook the noodles over a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. If your water is cooking off too fast you may need to reduce the boil to a simmer. Some of the water should still be in the pot, about 1/2 cup, when the macaroni is ready. If there’s more water than that remove all except 1/2 cup.
  • Remove pot from heat. Stir in the cottage cheese until evenly mixed and incorporated. Make sure to remove the pot from the heat before you add in the cottage cheese, otherwise it will curdle.
  • Add the shredded cheese and gently stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.


  • The cottage cheese must be room temperature when added or else it will curdle
  • The cottage cheese and cheddar must be added off the heat. 
  • Make sure you work quickly once the noodles are cooked so that you have enough residual heat to melt the cheese.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 415kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 484mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, NET CARBS: 45

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

Subscribe to receive new post updates via email

don’t miss a thing!

Get new post updates via email:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating