Baked Mac and Cheese

by Kelli H. on January 4, 2012

I find mac and cheese to be totally comforting. My favorite is Pioneer Woman’s but I can’t be eating heavy mac and cheese all the time. I make PW’s mac and cheese every Halloween, and while it’s 100% by far my favoritest, I also like to search for mac and cheese recipes that I can make more than once a year. 

This recipe is made lighter by using cottage cheese. Okay people, I know so many of you think cottage cheese is nasty, but it’s not! It’s super healthy for you, keeps you full, and it’s packed with protein. That sounds a lot better for you than regular mac and cheese. Plus, the cottage cheese is pureed, so if the lumps are what freaks you out, it’s more of a ricotta consistency by the time it goes into your dish.

Baked Mac & Cheese
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light November 2011

1 box of whole wheat penne
1 (12 oz) carton of low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
3 Tablespoons panko
1 Tablespoon fresh minced flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain & set aside.
3. Puree cottage cheese in a food processor/blender until smooth. Combine cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add pasta to the bowl and mix to combine. Spoon mixture into a baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Combine remaining parmesan cheese, panko, and pasley in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta dish, and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Preheat broiler and broil for about 1 minute to brown the top. Serve immediately.

So tell me,
Are you freaked out by cottage cheese?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one } January 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I am freaked out by it. But still hopeful for a conversion.


Maren January 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Now, this is when I miss cheese…….. haha


Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog January 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Baked mac and cheese?! It looks awesome! Something that I need to make asap. 😉


Kathryn @ Flopoodle January 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I used to not be freaked out by it, but then somehow converted to being averse. I think this recipe would be a good way to help me get rid of my aversion. 🙂


Made in Sonoma January 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm

@Kathryn @ Flopoodle
I think it would help because it really doesn’t seem like cottage cheese once it’s pureed.


Shannon January 5, 2012 at 10:31 am

Mac and cheese was my favorite meal as a child! Man that stuff is GOOD! But it can be so bad for you too..

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!! 🙂


David January 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Yumm… I could go for a hearty meal like this right about now!


Quirky Jessi January 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I think a lot of people that don’t like cottage cheese would have a completely different feeling about it when used in a cooked recipe instead. It changes the texture some and being warm versus cold could appeal to them different.

For me, though, I just love it in any form. I’ve never put it in my mac and cheese before, though. Yum!


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