Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Yield
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 www.choosemyplate.gov.

Ratings & Reviews

tammyfaust's Review

nallix
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

hcwood
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.

emestevez's Review

awil0405
August 15, 2012
I was very skeptical at first, but have made this dish on repeated occasions. My husband and I both love it. My grocery store doesn't sell 12oz containers of cottage cheese; only 16 oz containers, so I end up putting all 16 oz in (otherwise the leftover 4 oz would go to waste). Maybe that's why I didn't have a similar experience with the dryness. I also throw a garlic clove in the food processor. This dish definitely tastes better than it looks!

BBecker7686's Review

leticiaglee
December 03, 2011
I added a little Harvey cream since I had it on hand, so it was not dry. I think it's worth making again. My son, who is not a big fan of mac and cheese, loved it.

cshgt1's Review

Barkly
November 04, 2011
I agree CL has better mac and cheese recipes but this one was good. Kids asked for more. I made with 1% cottage cheese, and had 3 pieces of left over cooked bacon I sprinkled on top. Added nice flavor, but pretty sure that changes it to Cooking FAT! :)

hcwood's Review

MaryEliz
December 19, 2011
I was skeptical, but this recipe turned out really yummy! When I processed the cottage cheese I added a scoop of minced garlic, which really added a lot of flavor. My husband who is not a fan of healthy alternatives loved it! Will definitely make again, thanks for the recipe!

greenshamrock's Review

koozl19
October 26, 2011
I made this exactly as written except I did not have Panko so I used regular italian season flavored bread crumbs. This was delicious and so incredibly easy to make. My kids and husband loved it.

PatriciaH6911's Review

mamaherbst
October 28, 2011
N/A

Emz101's Review

mrscrazyed
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.

dinkydoo's Review

lauragross1
November 18, 2011
Very bland, best part was the crunchy topping.