Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese

Creamy macaroni and cheese that is actually good for you? Yes please! Loaded with protein, cottage cheese mac and cheese has become my everything. Make for meal prep and reach your protein goals during the week or make for your kids to sneak the nutrition in. This basic recipe is gluten-free, versatile, super easy, and TASTY.

Here’s something I never thought I’d say… cottage cheese is having a moment. So here I am jumping on that train and not caring one bit because this recipe is delicious.

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mac and cheese in a pink bowl with fork

About the ingredients

All of these ingredients are easily to find. I have linked many of these ingredients to Amazon links in the recipe card for anyone unfamiliar with them or if you are outside the United States, but all are readily available in US grocery stores or Walmart.

  • Chickpea pasta. I used chickpea pasta for more protein, but regular pasta or whole wheat works too.
  • Reduced fat cottage cheese. I highly recommend Good Culture cottage cheese. It tastes better, and I find it is less runny.
  • 2% reduced fat milk. Whole milk or 1% reduced fat milk will work too, but I use 2%. I have not tried skim milk.
  • Cornstarch. The cornstarch serves to thicken the cheese sauce for this mac and cheese rather than using butter and flour to make a roux.
  • Shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese. We sacrifice a bit of flavor using reduced fat cheese but given that I make this for meal prep, I can live with that. If you can, then by all means use whatever cheese you like.
  • Dijon mustard. Just a bit for a little bite of mustard.
  • Seasonings: kosher salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
close view of macaroni and cheese

How to make cottage cheese mac and cheese

Okay now here is the good part… we literally just blend together the ingredients for the cheese sauce. Then we warm it through until thickened, toss in your cooked pasta, and we are done!

To simply this process further, I just use my smoothie blender. Note the mini blender I have is linked below in the recipe card, along with the meal prep containers I use.

mac and cheese in a pink bowl with fork

Suggested additions

Just imagine! Tasty comforting macaroni and cheese with a creamy dreamy sauce that you can feel GOOD about. And with this basic recipe as the foundation, the possibilities are endless for cheesy macs. Here are some suggestions to spruce up your cottage cheese macaroni and cheese.

  • Crumbled turkey bacon.
  • Roasted peppers such as poblano pepper or red bell pepper. See my Poblano Mac and Cheese for directions to roast peppers.
  • Sun-dried tomato and chopped fresh basil.
  • Lean shredded chicken.
  • Cooked and crumbled lean ground beef or turkey.
  • Seasonings such as Old Bay seafood seasoning, taco seasoning, or BBQ seasoning. I especially love Old Bay on mac and cheese.
  • Drizzle sugar-free barbecue sauce.
  • Top with sliced black olives and green onion.
  • Top with chili crunch.
mac and cheese in a pink bowl on white background


Note that this recipe makes a good amount of sauce, and I prefer to use LESS sauce than it makes. So I highly recommend not just dumping all the pasta and sauce together, in case you don’t want it too saucy. If you don’t want to waste sauce, simply up the amount of pasta from 8 to 10 ounces.

Make the cheese sauce while the pasta is cooking. This saves time, and means it only takes 15 minutes to throw this all together.


Can cottage mac and cheese be made in advance?

Yes! This recipe is ideal for meal prep, and that is how I normally make it. Store in food containers for up to four days.

See my recipe for Basic Macaroni and Cheese for the best cheesy mac of your life. You can check out all my Mac and Cheese recipes under the Dinner section of the menu.

mac and cheese in a pink bowl on white background

Cottage Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

This basic recipe uses cottage cheese, chickpea pasta, and reduced fat cheddar for a super versatile, protein-rich, TASTY mac and cheese.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cottage cheese mac and cheese, cottage cheese macaroni and cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Authur: Erica
Servings: 5
Calories: 238kcal



Cook the pasta

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Make the cottage cheese sauce

  • While pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce by blending the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  • Transfer sauce to a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring, until sauce is thickened.

Assemble the mac and cheese

  • Add the drained pasta to the sauce (*see Notes). Serve.


This recipe makes a good amount of sauce, but I prefer to not use ALL the sauce. So I recommend adding the sauce until to your desired level of sauciness, rather than just dumping it right all into the pasta. If you don’t want to waste sauce, simply increase the pasta from 8 to 10 ounces.
I used chickpea cavatappi pasta, but any pasta of choice will work including whole grain or regular.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g

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