Low-calorie macaroni cheese recipe

(837 ratings)

This low-calorie macaroni cheese takes the classic comfort food dish and makes it much more waist-friend for anyone on a healthy eating plan.

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 pasta recipes, coming in at only 339 calories a serving.

There are few dishes that can beat a classic macaroni cheese for pure comfort levels - soft macaroni twists, oozing creamy sauce and a the velvety taste of melted cheese. Well, just because you're watching your weight it doesn't mean you have to miss out. This version uses low fat versions of milk, cheese, and butter, to keep the calories well under 350kcal per portion. Serve it with a crisp, frizzy salad on the side - the creamy sauce will work instead of a dressing for the lettuce as well.


  • 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
  • 1 tsp 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 tip 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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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies