Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

This baked macaroni and cheese casserole contains three different types of cheeses and a topping of crisp breadcrumbs. This dish has plenty of protein for a meat-free main dish. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place in a large bowl.

Step 3

Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the cheese mixture to pasta, and stir well. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Step 4

Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, panko, and parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes.

Step 5

Preheat broiler (do not remove dish from the oven).

Step 6

Broil pasta 1 minute or until top browns.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

tammyfaust's Review

November 22, 2011
With a little tweaking,this recipe was great! I reduced the amount of pasta a bit, added some chunks of smoked ham ( to make it more of a dinner entree) and a little fat free 1/2 & 1/2 to make it creamy. The cooking time was way off though. I baked as indicated for 10 minutes, but was still just luke warm. I then increased the time incrementally by 10 minutes for a total of 35 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, I covered the casserole w/ foil. I also baked this in a 9x9 glass dish. Keeping the casserole thicker and w/ the foil covering, kept it moister. I serve this w/ canned chopped tomatoes to put on top. This recipe now will replace the standard, high calorie, high fat mac & cheese my family made. My son really loved it too!

SoleilVA's Review

March 30, 2012
I think this is pretty good - would have given it a 3.5 if possible. It's not ever going to taste like full fat mac and cheese, but it's a decent substitute that can actually be hard to stop eating. The sauce has a tangy flavor, which my husband and I liked, and we kind of wanted to keep eating but stopped at one portion each. (OK, plus a few extra noodles for me when I put it away.) I found it very easy to make and I've made it twice; agree it can be dry/bland and have some tips on preparation: 1) Leave the cottage cheese in the food processor a long time, let it get really smooth and liquid-like. 2) Use a really good cheddar. I could tell the difference when I used a better one. 3) Use Pecorino Romano instead of Parmesan; it has more salt and flavor. 4) When you drain the pasta, save some of the water and add it to the cheese/pasta mixture while combining. This will help it stay more sauced and creamy in the oven. 5) Use the 11 x 17 dish. The depth is important for moisture.

Parmesan is Calf Stomach

July 09, 2015
Many Parmesan cheeses (more so than other types) contain Rennet, the lining of a calf stomach. To make this recipe vegetarian, be sure to buy vegetarian cheese- specifically without rennet.

sukeedog's Review

May 04, 2014
Yummy. The cottage cheese blend (I used ricotta since I had some on hand) was delicious, though we did find the dish to be a bit dry even after adding in some pasta water. I probably would add some milk to the cheese mixture if we made it again.

lovefoodmom's Review

August 07, 2013
my family absolutely love this recipe it is delicious the best Thin, not going to ever make anyother I'm going to use it for all of my holidays thank you guys so much

Emz101's Review

July 06, 2013
This recipe wasn't bad with some additions, but since I don't really like pasta I probably wouldn't make it again. I added 2 cloves of garlic, garlic salt, extra pepper, asparagus in with the pasta and tomatos on top and I found it very flavorful. I had never eaten cottage cheese and it wasn't as gross as I thought it would be. I didn't find it dry or flavorless at all but that could be because of everything I added to it.

mrsjroe's Review

June 03, 2013

KCSeattle's Review

February 23, 2013
This was pretty good! It was super easy and fast to make, so I'll definitely make it again on a week night. It was a bit dry, even with some pasta water added, but it wasn't so dry that I didn't like it. I added some garlic powder and extra pepper to give it a bit more flavor. I also used ricotta cheese instead of cottage.

kcbirdnerd's Review

January 03, 2013

maggieb06's Review

December 12, 2012