Homemade Mac and Cheese – 310 calories

Homemade Mac and Cheese 2

Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? Most “diets” have this on the no-no list but that’s cruel, so I worked on a low cal version inspired by Candice Kumai’s Platinum Mac and Cheese and came up with a tasty, low cal, high protein version that is great as a main dish or a side dish. My 2 year old even loves this meal, and there is no mystery orange powder, so I know what I am getting when I make it and that is why I love this Mac and Cheese recipe.

The beauty of this meal is you can choose whatever cheeses you want, I love Gruyère and Parmesan, just make sure you choose strong cheeses, the sharper and stinker means more flavor without having have to use as much and therefore you cut the calories without cutting the flavor.

Makes 4 servings.


  • 2 ½ cup Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened Almond milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅛ cup Gruyère cheese
  • 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs

Get started:

Preheat oven to 450 and coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to package until al dente, drain and set aside. In a large pot melt butter over med-low, add in flour stir in a figure 8 until it is a thick slightly browned paste, add the almond milk and garlic powder bring to a low simmer and stir often for about 15-20 minutes until its thickened and it coats the spoon you are stirring with. Take the heat down to low then dump in the pasta, stir until all coated, toss in cheese and stir until melted and evenly distributed. Move to casserole dish, sprinkle with herbs, then panko crumbs then a little more Parmesan cheese and place in oven until top is a crusty, browned and beautiful about 15 minutes.

If you are making this as a side dish cut it into 6ths to cut the calories down to 200 per serving, it is still a whole lot of mac and cheese goodness!

Nutrition information:

Each serving has:

  • Calories: 310
  • Fat: 9
  • Fiber: 7
  • Protein: 11
  • Carbs: 35

Lose Weight By Eating cookbooks:


This meal isn’t just yummy, it’s good for you too! Full of protein, calcium and potassium so you can enjoy and know you are also doing something good for your body.

12 thoughts on “Homemade Mac and Cheese – 310 calories”

  1. Audrey, can you tell me about how many cups per person of this dish if having it as a meal and not a side? Thanks

  2. Made this tonight as a side to the rosemary chicken, wonderful! Kids and hubby loved it also!

  3. What do you reccommend as an alternative to almond milk? My children are both allergic to tree nuts. Thanks!

  4. I made this today for dinner and my family loved it, I followed your recipe exactly as you have it. I was told that I need to make this at least once or twice a week. I was worried that they wouldn’t like it because I make the more traditional baked mac n cheese that has a million calories. I’m so glad they loved it. We are all going to be eating better and getting healthier in the process, thanks to you Audrey.

  5. This is a great way to make it creamy without adding a ton of calories 🙂

    I hope you enjoy! Thanks for stopping by.

    Happy Cooking

  6. To make my Mac n cheese skinnier I add chicken broth to the butter/flour instead of milk. I will have to try this!

  7. Hi Heather,
    Thanks for asking, all of my recipes are super versatile change them up to your preferences. I recommend dried basil, Italian Seasonings, any dried leafy herbs will work here. I also live in a rural area and order a lot of spices on line, if you stock up all at once you can save some shipping too. Here is a really reasonable jar for under $5: http://www.amazon.com/PROVANCE-FRESHLY-PACKED-spices-seasonings/dp/B000N5ZHNW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327423224&sr=8-1
    Hope that helps!
    Happy Cooking,

  8. This sounds fantastic! Do you have Herbs de Provence replacement suggestions? I live in a rural area and all they sell at my local grocery is Sundrop and salt. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration… but only slight.

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