Sometimes you need to indulge in your favorite comfort foods. The trouble is that most comfort foods are terribly fattening. But, even mac ‘n cheese is doable if you make a few substitutions. This recipe makes enough for 6 people, so you can splurge over a few days if you don’t have a house full of people to feed. And, don’t think of skipping the butternut in this recipe. It adds the creaminess that you love in this dish - without the fat. You might love this lightened mac ‘n cheese so much that you never return to the fattening variety.



  • 8 ounce Whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1¼ cups Low-fat, no-salt-added cottage cheese
  • 1½ cups Butternut squash, puréed
  • 3 teaspoons Olive oil, divided
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon Black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a largish casserole dish with cooking spray.  Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

Whisk together the cottage cheese and butternut (or tuck it in a food processor for about 45 seconds). You want to get it as smooth as possible. Set this aside.

In a saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. When soft, place the onions, macaroni, cottage cheese mix, cheddar cheese, and seasonings. Transfer this to the prepared baking dish.

In another small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and remaining oil. Sprinkle this on top of the macaroni mixture, and then place this in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes and serve when it’s bubbling and hot.


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