Low-calorie macaroni cheese recipe

(824 ratings)

Low-calorie macaroni cheese is a really delicious and guilt-free option for anyone who loves this pasta bake but can't enjoy it if they're on a diet

Low calorie macaroni cheese
  • healthy
  • Low-fat
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories339 Kcal17%
Sugar7.5 g8%
Fat9.8 g14%
Saturated Fat4.4 g22%
Salt0.63 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein15.3 g31%
Carbohydrates50.4 g19%
Salt0.63 gRow 7 - Cell 2

This low calorie macaroni cheese is one of our favourite low calorie meals (opens in new tab) as it's just 339 calories per serving.

In this low calorie macaroni cheese recipe, full-fat ingredients are swapped for low or reduced-fat options instead including low fat spread, semi-skimmed milk, and reduced-fat cheese. This dish doesn’t shy away from flavour however as it's infused with a kick of mustard and fresh tomato slices. A crisp golden coating of cheese makes this dish irresistible.


  • 300g macaroni
  • 50g low-fat spread
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk
  • 100g reduced fat Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1tspn English mustard
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced




  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5
  2. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling water for 8-10 mins, or according to pack instructions, until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the low-fat spread in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 3-4 mins until softened, but not brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Return to the heat and cook gently for about 1 min, stirring, until the mixture has a sandy texture.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the milk a little at a time, stirring it in to blend. Heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and add about two thirds of the cheese and the mustard. Season with some pepper.
  5. Drain the cooked pasta thoroughly and stir it into the hot cheese sauce. Tip the mixture into a baking dish with a capacity of about 1.2 litres (2 pints), or use individual serving dishes. Top with the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle the reserved cheese over the surface. Bake for 15-20 mins until piping hot, then serve.

Top tips for making low calorie macaroni cheese

Use tubular pasta, like penne or rigatoni instead of macaroni and take care not to overcook it - it needs to have a little 'bite'. Instead of tomatoes you could have a layer of sliced leeks, courgettes and peppers, lightly boiled in water to soften them.

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Healthy pasta recipes (opens in new tab)

Classic macaroni cheese (opens in new tab)

Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.