Mac and Cheese with Cottage Cheese
Looking for an easy, delicious, homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe? How about Mac and Cheese with Cottage Cheese. Look no further – this will become a new favorite for kids and adults alike. Most homemade versions are time consuming and heavy. My version is lighter and so simple you can throw it together quickly and eat in 30 minutes! You’re welcome.
How To Make Mac and Cheese with Cottage Cheese
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and coat a 9-inch square pan with baking spray. Next, puree cottage cheese, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. You can puree it in a blender, Vitamix, or food processor!
Set aside ¼ cup of grated cheddar cheese and mix the remainder with the pureed mixture. Add dry pasta, pour into pan, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
Finally, uncover the pan, stir, sprinkle with the leftover cheese, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool and enjoy my Mac and Cheese with Cottage Cheese!
What is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese has a very mild flavor and a soft, creamy texture. It is made by adding an acid to milk, which causes curds to form and separate from the whey. Unlike other cheeses, the curd is then drained but not pressed, which allows some whey and moisture to remain in the cottage cheese. It is then washed to remove some of the acidic flavor, and then cream and salt are added. You can find cottage cheese with small, medium, or large curds—try them all to see which you prefer! If you aren’t a fan of the lumpy texture, give whipped cottage cheese a try. It is whipped to remove the lumps and results in a smooth texture.
Cottage cheese is believed to have received its name because this type of cheese was made in cottages from the milk leftover after making butter. It is also believed that cottage cheese was on of this first cheeses made in America!
Cottage Cheese Nutrition
Cottage cheese is low in calories and high in protein. A ½ cup serving of full-fat plain cottage cheese contains around 100 calories, 12g of protein, and 4.5g of fat. It is also a great source of Phosphorus and B12.
There are many flavored varieties of cottage cheese available but be sure to check the label. Some of the flavored varieties can contain a lot of added sugars—some up to 20g! I prefer to buy the plain cottage cheese and add my own flavorings at home. You can mix in fresh fruit, vanilla extract, cinnamon, or whatever else you want! And of course, the plain variety is what we use in my Mac and Cheese with Cottage Cheese recipe.
Why Whole Wheat Pasta?
I like to use Whole Wheat Pasta in my Mac and Cheese with Cottage Cheese. It is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that half of our daily grains be whole grains. Whole Wheat Pasta is high in fiber, which promotes digestive health, maintains a healthy blood sugar, and promotes regular bowel movements. It is also a great source of B vitamins, Copper, Selenium, Magnesium, and Manganese. Enjoy your Mac and Cheese with whole wheat pasta—I promise the kids will love it too!
Looking for more pasta recipes? Try my Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Penne, NYC Smoked Salmon “Everything Bagel” Penne Pasta, and White Bean Romesco Sauce with Zucchini Noodles and Toasted Pita Points
“All about the Grains Group.” ChooseMyPlate, United States Department of Agriculture, www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/grains.
Warren, Rachel Meltzer. “Is Cottage Cheese Good for You?” Consumer Reports, 23 Feb. 2020, www.consumerreports.org/healthy-eating/is-cottage-cheese-good-for-you/.
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese grated
- ½ pound whole wheat elbow pasta
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 9-inch square pan with baking spray.
- Puree cottage cheese, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Set aside ¼ cup of grated cheddar cheese and mix the remainder with the pureed mixture. Add dry pasta, pour into pan, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover pan, stir, sprinkle with reserved cheese, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Top should be golden brown.