This Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Make-over makes a Better Bite

macaroni and cheese

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 macaroni and cheeseIf your kids are like mine, they probably love macaroni and cheese.  I grew up on the heavy, baked macaroni and cheese as a kid and still occasionally make it for my own, which is a HUGE TREAT!  Recently I’ve been experimenting with ways we can cut the prep and bake time, lower the fat content & keep a taste that will satisfy their taste buds.  So, I’m sharing our Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Make-over this week.

I’ve eliminated the butter, used the Ronzoni Smart taste pasta and lowered the fat by using 2% milk (you can go even lower if you want) and using Cabot’s 75% reduced fat, extra light cheese that is one of my favorites in recipes.  My youngest, the macaroni and cheese connoisseur of our home, gave it a double THUMBS UP, which means I can share this recipe :)!  Not only am I fan on the flavor, I’m even a bigger fan on the time it takes to make this on these crazy busy week nights of ours.  It took me 20-30 minutes and of course that time might slightly depend on how quickly you chop onions or how many interruptions you have (just saying…if your house is like mine, there’s always something that comes up).  

How can the time be shortened?  Pre-shred the cheese and have it in a refrigerator container to grab and go for quick evenings.  And, chop the onions in a mini chopper.

This recipe is even a doable as a lunch time serve on the weekends and even better?  Depending on the ages in your household it makes a GREAT recipe to recruit kids to make dinner and learn a few lessons along the way. 

Lower-fat Macaroni and Cheese
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  1. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  2. 1/2 cup sweet onions, finely chopped
  3. 3 cups low-fat milk
  4. 12 oz. Pasta (Ronzoni Smart Taste with 2.5 x's the fiber is one of our favorites)
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  7. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 8 oz. Cabot, 75% fat reduced, extra light sharp cheese
  1. Over medium to low heat saute the onions in the canola oil until they are soft, but not brown. Stir them regularly. Add in the milk, pepper, onion powder, salt and garlic powder and stir. Add in the fresh garlic by using a garlic press. Add in the pasta, cover and let it cook over medium to low heat in the milk. This takes longer than cooking it in water and needs to be stirred occasionally, but eliminates the need to add any thickener like flour or cornstarch.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, shred the cheese. Once the pasta is softened (we like ours al dente), turn off the heat. Add the shredded cheese and stir until it is fully melted and serve.
  1. Recently we served this with a fresh veggie tray = YUM! And, you can always add some into the mix when cooking like spinach, peas, peppers, etc.
Jodie Fitz


Disclosure: I am pleased to be working with MVP Health Care and the MVP Generation Go Program, which has sponsored this post. My participation is voluntary and my opinion is always my own, as is any advice offered. 



This Recipe was Featured at:

Life on Lakeshore Drive


28 Comments on “This Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Make-over makes a Better Bite”

  1. Hi Jodie! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love Mac & Cheese but I agree they are so heavy and take time to make. I love how fast this is so I can make it on weekdays. Pinning this!

    1. THANKS for pinning – it is a quick & easy! I just have to work it into my morning schedule for hot lunches every now and again :)….

  2. Again you’re reminding me to buy onion and garlic powder! I am always forgetting and they are great for flavouring. Great to see a healthy version for mac cheese. My kids love pasta but I have never made them this, thanks will try it out on them 🙂 Pinning it too(so I can find it easy, and share) 🙂

    1. LOL! Onion & Garlic Powder are always staples here….I hope by time I’m responding you have them :)!! Thanks for pinning & hope they enjoy…. xo ~ jodie

  3. My kids love Mac and Cheese, in fact we all do, but it not the healthy option out there but this might help to change that


    1. My kids love the thick & heavy, which we do once in a great while (like birthdays, etc) but most of the time we try to keep it on the healthier side of things…my youngest LOVES this over any of the quick fix options, which makes me thrilled!

  4. Your mac and cheese looks delicious! I LOVE mac and cheese, but always try to lighten it up a little too, because I don’t love the fat and calorie content of the traditional version. This looks wonderful!!!

    1. THANK you! The big changes were the 75% reduced fat cheese, which I LOVE in recipes like these….and the reduced fat milk, but adding in a little spices makes a HUGE difference!

    1. :)! A great way to add it in, we’ll have to try it with this recipe & see how it tastes…together we will have reduced the fat & added in the veggies xo ~ jodie

    1. THANK you! My guys LOVE it, but I just could make it the other way all of the time – it’s our alternative to the boxed, quick & easy options…

  5. Great way to make over macaroni and cheese! This is just so simple and easy!

    Thanks for sharing at Turn It Up Tuesdays…we love having you! 🙂
    I have a series on my blog called What’s For Lunch Mommy where I feature guest bloggers who share simple and healthy toddler eats. Would you be interested in sharing a recipe on this series? Please let me know. Your recipes are awesome!

  6. Jodie, your mac and cheese looks so delicious! YUMMY!! I am making it this week! My family will go crazy over it, I know! You are featured at Pick of the Bunch this week. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent this week. 🙂

    Just pinned and tweeted. Have a fabulous weekend.

    1. THANK you so much for the feature xo – I did add your link to the post 🙂 – hope September & October have been good ~ jodie

  7. This sounds so good! So much tastier and healthier than the box I grab when I am rushed!

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