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Jun 29

Healthy Mac and Cheese!

Mac and Cheese


Woot!!! :)

Did you ever think you’d get yummy comfort food like this during P90x?! :) I always thought “healthy mac and cheese” was an oxymoron – but this recipe creates a scrumptious ooey gooey baked mac and cheese that I would eat any day of the week, even without P90x…now I’ll never go back!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta (approx. 7 oz. dry)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (additional pepper to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, mix ingredients together, then add cooked pasta and mix together. Pour into pan, cover with pepper to taste, then bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until it’s starting to brown slightly the edges are bubbling.

P90x Nutrition Plan Servings:

1/4 of the above recipe is 1 1/2 dairy servings, 1 carb serving, and 1 Single snack serving.

P.S. It would be very easy to add tasty protein servings, too. Chop up 8 slices of cooked turkey bacon and sprinkle over the top for 1 additional protein serving. Or add 12 oz. of cubed turkey ham or cooked chicken!

P.P.S. Almost everyone I’ve ever made this for has asked me if that was feta in the mac and cheese – no one guesses it is cottage cheese. However, if the visible curds will bug you, you can just blend the cottage cheese until smooth in the blender first – then no one will ever know!

P.P.P.S. I’d like to emphasize that this recipe only works if you are KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PORTIONS! As you can see, it uses carbs, dairy, and a snack serving. This is OK as long as you haven’t used those servings at other times during the day! Plan ahead using my P90x Nutrition Plan food journal or something similar. :)

23 comments

1 ping

  1. Julie

    CJ,

    I made this mac-n-cheese and it came out pretty good. My boyfriend and his teenage son both ate it too and there were no leftovers, so I must have done OK! It did, however, seem to lack a little bit of flavor, and I’m not sure what to do to “kick it up a notch”. I used fat-free cheddar instead of low fat, and not sure if that would make a big difference in taste. Because I’m trying to be careful with my sodium intake, I skipped the salt; maybe that was it. I thought about adding cayenne pepper, or something salt-free like that. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for these great recipes.

    Julie

    1. CJ =)

      Hi Julie! I think the fat-free cheddar was probably fine, I bet it was the salt. I have to admit that spices and seasonings are one of the things I have the most trouble with – it’s hard for me to put my finger on what a mild dish needs to “kick it up a notch.” I’ve found that things I think are flavorful are a bit mild for my hubby, so maybe I just have overactive taste buds. Adding Cayenne is a good idea, and maybe more black pepper, garlic, and maybe some ground mustard? I think the combo of yogurt and cottage cheese are both neutralizing ingredients. Another option is to add some meat in there as well, like turkey bacon, chicken, or chopped ham, which would add another flavor in there.
      Does anyone else have some suggestions on this?
      - CJ =)

  2. Daniel

    You can also try different flavors of Mrs Dash, the do not have sodium and come in multiple flavors now.

    1. CJ =)

      Good call, Daniel! I keep forgetting that Mrs. Dash doesn’t have salt in it. That would be a great addition.

  3. Kay

    Just wanted to let you know this was delicious! I did modify a bit because the closer I got to making the recipe, the more afraid I was of that yogurt. I just added 1/2 cup of milk and, though the sauce was a bit runny when warm, after it cooled a little it wasn’t bad at all. Another good herb to try in your mac and cheese is thyme, maybe about 1/2-1 tsp dried for the whole recipe.

    1. CJ =)

      Yay Kay!! So glad you liked it. LOL at your nerves about the yogurt. I know what you mean. This is one of the few dishes where the “tang” of the yogurt really doesn’t end up being that noticeable. (It is much more noticeable in, say, the creamy spinach pesto dish.)
      Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback! So glad that this worked out for you!!
      - CJ =)

  4. Matti

    Thank you so much for this recipe! We had this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful! So creamy and comforting. We added a small can of mild green chilies and they really added a nice punch. Your website is great, thank you!

    1. CJ =)

      Thanks for the feedback and the alteration idea, Matti! I’m so glad that you liked this one – it is probably my favorite so far, rivaled only by the Twice Baked Potatoes! =)
      - CJ =)

  5. AlyssaK

    Hi CJ,

    First and foremost thank you so much for devoting your time to this website! You have helped my husband and I stay on the program. After trying the P90X meal plan for a week I found myself skipping meals or waking up to prep everything in the morning. Not to mention the HUGE grocery bill!

    Anyway, I wanted to give a little suggestion to this recipe. I know you posted it a while ago but from what I can tell there are a lot of folks out there like me who rely on your site. If you’re looking for a way to sneak in some vegetables – throw in some spinach. I usually take fresh spinach and cook it in a pan until just wilted with a little minced garlic. Then when you’re preparing the mac & cheese to bake pour half in, put spinach on top, then pour on the remaining mixture. Also, a tip on spices – add about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg. You’ll get a bit more flavor just from sauteing the spinach in garlic, too.

    This p90x recipe is very similar to one I’ve been making for years except mine included skim milk instead of yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of fresh bread crumbs. I really miss those bread crumbs (sigh!)

    1. CJ =)

      Hi Alyssa!
      This is awesome! What a great way to sneak in a vegi serving! And I’m totally going to try the nutmeg, too. As I’ve said before, spices are my Achilles’ heel!

      LOL about the breadcrumbs. To be honest, I would probably just add them if you felt like it. If you eat 1/4 of the pan, you’re talking 1/2 Tb breadcrumbs, which has to be like 1/6 of a carb serving. I don’t believe in dicing up my portions any finer than 1/2! But that’s just me. =)
      - CJ =)

  6. Lisa S

    I made this last night and loved it! I added the turkey bacon idea on top and it really added that variety of flavors and was so satisfying! Thank you!!!!

  7. Adam

    I am in week 2 of P90x and doing a hybrid of the meal plan/portion approach. After the expensive first week and finding what I do and don’t like, it looks like you have a lot of way more delicious looking options to choose from. I am definitely going to be using this a lot! I once saw a hungry girl recipe that used that cheesy frozen cauliflower to make mac and cheese. Do you think you could subsitute out some of the noodles for steamed cauliflower to lower the carbs and raise the vegetables? I may have to try it and let you know how it turns out. Anyway, thanks for the wesbite… it’s awesome!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Adam!
      This sounds like an AWESOME idea. Please do let me know how it turns out!
      - CJ =)

  8. Tetondeb

    First of all… Thank you thank you thank you for this site and your book! My husband and I started p90x, but I was overwhelmed by the recipes! This site had made all the difference! I added one can of stewed tomatoes to this recipe and it made it really delicious! I liked the original but my husband grew up eating Mac and cheese with tomatoes… He won in the end!

  9. cathy

    hi purchased your e-book a few days ago trying to follow some of your recipes and the phase 1 nutrition guide from p90x..

    I did make the mac n chesse my son and husband loved it my question is this in your book day 5 you have this for dinner and have (notes) only make 1/2 and add 4 slices of cooked bacon and you should have 1 portion left over……..ok so 1/4 is the serving or 1/2 of the recipe, I’m sorry but I’m confused all this weighing measuring (lol) all new to me ;) and is 4 slices turkey bacon for 1/2 the portion or the whole 4cups??

    1. CJ =)

      Hi Cathy!
      When I said only make 1/2, I meant make half of the recipe. The original recipe serves 4, so you’d only make 2 servings. Adding 4 slices of cooked bacon to 2 servings (2 slices per mac and cheese serving) would add 1 protein serving to each mac and cheese serving.
      Does that make sense?
      - CJ =)

      1. Lori

        Thanks for clarifying. This is how I thought you intended this meal to be made. I understand your e-book menu plan is designed for cooking for one person in mind, I have been doubling everything for my husband and I since we are both following the nutrition plan. Thus doubling this menu (and therefore making the full recipe) would still yield the leftovers needed for Day 6… right? Thanks in advance for confirming. :-)

        1. CJ =)

          Yep, you got it Lori! =)
          - CJ =)

  10. Brandi

    A photo on this page would be great since I can’t pin it without one. Plus it sounds so amazing, I’m sure the photo is great too!

    1. CJ =)

      Your wish is my command, Brandi!! =) I’ve added the pic in there. All of my posts used to have pics before I moved to the new theme, and I just need to take the time to go back through each one and insert the pic manually. But now that I know that’s stopping people from pinning it on Pinterest, I’ll do that soon!!
      Thanks for the heads up. =)
      - CJ =)

  11. cathy

    Thank you!! sorry it took me forever to get back here and find this post ….I’m so bad at the computer

  12. Tina

    How many servings and how many calories in a serving??? :) trying it tonight for the “whole” family!

    1. CJ =)

      Hey Tina!
      P90x doesn’t typically count calories, but you can figure them out by looking at the P90x servings I post for each recipe and use the calories in each serving.
      For this recipe, 1/4 of the recipe is 480 calories. I hope you enjoy it!
      CJ

  1. P90X Mac and Cheese « Cumbie Days Blog

    [...] I saw this recipe and knew I wanted to try it as I LOVE mac and cheese.  My grandmother makes it every year [...]

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