Healthy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite forms of comfort foods, but it usually feels more like a “special occasion” dish. Probably because it’s usually loaded up with tons of cheese and butter without a lot of redeeming health benefits. I couldn’t justify having it for dinner every night, but sometimes a girl needs her macaroni.

This healthy baked macaroni and cheese will satisfy your cheesy cravings without all the calories and fat of traditional macaroni and cheese. It's a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish!

So I played around with a traditional recipe, and switched some things up, namely adding broccoli and removing the massive amounts of butter. Ok, there were a few other changes, but read on for the full healthy baked macaroni and cheese recipe!

This healthy baked macaroni and cheese will satisfy your cheesy cravings without all the calories and fat of traditional macaroni and cheese. It's a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish!

Lighter Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A healthier version of traditional macaroni and cheese.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 8
  • 16 oz whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 large head of broccoli, chopped
  • 2½ cups of skim milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup smoked Gouda
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of pepper
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add in the macaroni and cook according to the packages directions.
  4. When you have about 5 minutes left of the pasta cooking, add in the broccoli. (Check it out, one less dish to wash!)
  5. You can boil them together until both are tender.
  6. In a separate sauce pan, heat up the milk.
  7. Right before it starts to simmer, whisk in the flour and cornstarch slowly.
  8. Add the salt, then the cheeses.
  9. Sprinkle with garlic powder, and pepper.
  10. Combine the sauce and the macaroni in an 8x8 pan.
  11. Cover with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  12. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown just a tad.

This healthy baked macaroni and cheese will satisfy your cheesy cravings without all the calories and fat of traditional macaroni and cheese. It's a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish!

I’ve made this dish for friends and roommates and I’ve also made it for our family’s Christmas dinner! It’s a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish. Macaroni and cheese has always been one of my favorite comfort foods and with a recipe like this, I don’t have to save it for special occasions!

This healthy baked macaroni and cheese will satisfy your cheesy cravings without all the calories and fat of traditional macaroni and cheese. It's a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish!

What’s your favorite comfort food?


  1. I am always looking for a lighter mac and cheese. Even with the high miles I run, I sometimes dont wanna be weighed to the floor with heavy pasta dishes. This would be great! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  2. Like old times! 🙂 Even though that Jeopardy was really hard….and I got hardly any…haha. That mac was good, though!

  3. we used to have spaghetti casserole growing up. I swear i could eat that whole thing too! LOL! probably reason why i have a GF intolerance. haha But thank goodness for GF pasta now!

  4. I love family dinners! We do family dinner every night at Andrew’s parent’s house and everyone comes plus their significant others. We usually play games and switch off hosting.

  5. I love mac n’ cheese, especially when it’s a little lighter so I don’t have to feel so bad about it. This looks seriously good!

  6. hmm is the cornstarch required? I have everything for it except that 😛 Yay love cheesey recipes! keeping this one 🙂 Happy Friday Liz! -Iva

    • I’m sure you could leave it out! It just makes the sauce a little but thicker. You could even just add a little extra flour and you’d probably get the same result!

  7. That just looks and sounds delicious. Even better that it is pretty healthy? Count me in. Always.

  8. This looks really good 🙂 I wonder if I could get Marty to try it??

  9. Yummm, this sounds delicious! Smoked gouda in it sounds delicious!! Plus I always love adding broccoli (or peas!) to my macaroni and cheese!

  10. I made mac n’ cheese this week and lightened it up a bit by using almond milk and a little (very little) less cheese. I like the idea of bulking it up with veggies though. I think I may roast some of my favorites and add them to the pot next time. Great tip!

  11. Yummmm. Great recipe – can’t wait to try it!

  12. Oh man, I love Jeopardy but I haven’t watched it in forever! But anyway, yum! We usually make a broccoli pasta bake with ricotta and tomato sauce, but this is totally going on the menu for this week. Must get some gouda!

  13. We watch Jeopardy with dinner, too! Only our “family” dinner involves a Hunger Games level of competitiveness! Haha, we take it pretty seriously.

  14. i love sneaking in veggies to meals and i also love bulking pasta dishes up by using veggies and beans!

  15. Gouda cheese? um, i’ll take 2 or 3 servings please 🙂

  16. We love homemade mac and cheese and are always throwing something in the mix. Broccoli is the best!

  17. Smoked gouda is my e’erythinggggggggg. Don’t think I’ve ever added it to mac n’ cheese – genius!

  18. This sounds so good. I love making mac n cheese too, but the cheese and fat always kills me. I already love broccoli and cheese so this has to be a winner! Yummy!

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