Thursday, May 10, 2012

Healthified Boxed Mac 'n Cheese

The other day, I came upon this brilliant boxed mac and cheese makeover. I was so inspired because I have a secret love for that stuff out of the blue box. I must say, it feels a little blasphemous to call it mac 'n cheese, but to its defense, it would really hit the spot after a long day of class and studying.

Who can blame anyone, let alone poor college students, for buying it? It's cheap, tasty, and sticks with you for a while. The only downside: all that fake powdered cheese, butter, and milk really stacks on calories. But the brilliant Lisa of Snack Girl found a way around that! Or to at least help. Are you ready?

Instead of using all that butter and milk, swap it for low fat cottage cheese! It still gives it that creamy flavor without all the calories. I found just cottage cheese to be a little dry, so I still added about a tablespoon of 1% milk.

She added tomatoes to her mac 'n cheese to bump up the health quotient, but I went a different route. That signature fake, bright yellow cheese has always reminded me of the cheese sauce commonly drizzled over broccoli, so I chopped some up and threw it in to the finished pasta raw.

And it was perfect!

I'm a salt fiend and missed the butter a bit for it's salty kick, but a little sprinkle did the trick. This version of the beloved blue boxed mac 'n cheese still hit the spot without all the guilt. It's a total winner!

Healthified Boxed Mac 'n Cheese

Serves 2
Inspired by Snack Girl

1 box of macaroni and cheese, such as Kraft
1/2 cup low fat, small curd cottage cheese
1 tablespoon 1% milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped broccoli

1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
2. Stir in the powdered cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and salt until well combined.
3. Add the broccoli and stir until evenly distributed. Enjoy!


  1. I like your idea of using the broccoli. I also like cheese on my cauliflower so I might give that a try as well.

  2. Ok, this is amazing. Sorry, food world! Blue box mac n' cheese is such a nostalgic treat!

  3. I am so glad you liked this idea - and your photo is awesome. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. I will always love mac and cheese in a box. You made me love it even more.

  5. What a great idea! I love the addition of cottage cheese. Your other recipe for mac n' cheese that uses cottage cheese was delicious, so I'm sure this one will be as well!

  6. So that's how you get kids to eat broccoli! May the blue box live on...

  7. This looks awesome! Such a good idea. Can't wait to try it!

  8. I'm going to pass this on to my friend who has a boxed mac and cheese obsession!

  9. You are my hero! I LOVE boxed mac and cheese! I am on a diet quest to lose weight, lower my blood pressure and generally get healthier and thought I would not be able to eat it again. Then I found this and made it for lunch (of course I had a box stashed from before the diet, lol)! It was fabulous. I used fat-free cottage cheese cause that's what I had and it was still wonderful! I will def put a little salt substitute on it next time - and there will be a next time! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  10. So what's the calorie count on this per serving?

  11. Nice. I love this stuff and always serve it with peas. I shall try the cottage cheese trick.

  12. I also don't put in the entire bag of "cheese." Even if you put in half the packet I usually find it has enough flavor.


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