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Healthier Mac 'N Cheese

Adding butternut squash and replacing some of the full fat cheese with lower fat cottage cheese makes this recipe a healthier version of a familiar comfort food.

  • Yields: 12 cups (3 L) cheese sauce and 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) crumb or enough to make 24 servings




  1. Bake or microwave (do not boil) the squash until tender; cool slightly. Purée the squash with the cottage cheese, milk and mustard until very smooth.
  2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan set over low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sweat for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the squash mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in the Cheddar cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Crumb Top:

  1. Melt remaining butter; toss with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Hold, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

    Single Serving

    Toss 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot cheese sauce with 1 cup (250 mL) hot cooked macaroni; transfer to a shallow, oven-proof serving dish. Sprinkle with a scant 2 tbsp (30 mL) breadcrumb mixture and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted. Serve immediately.
  • Add chopped spinach or broccoli florets for extra nutrition.
  • This dish is best when served very soon after the sauce is combined with the cooked pasta, so it is not suitable to bake and hold in a steam table. We recommend holding the prepared sauce warm in a steam table and tossing with the hot pasta to order.  
Photo of - Healthier Mac 'N Cheese