A homemade mac & cheese recipe that doesn’t require baking, and is lighter than traditional mac & cheese. And a secret veggie is added to add more nutritional value.
Lightened-up, stovetop mac & cheese recipe. Click through for details!

A few weeks ago, I sent out a survey to some readers who agreed to participate via a request that I posted on Facebook. I got some really good feedback (thanks guys!). And you spoke loud and clear about one area in particular:

You want more cheap and healthy recipes.

And I couldn’t be more pleased to hear this. Many people are under the impression that eating healthy costs a lot of money.

I know for a fact that this doesn’t have to be true. It just takes a little extra work and planning.

In the coming months, you can expect to see more cheap and healthy recipes.

Stay in touch via Instagram, where I am posting sneak peeks at many of these recipes to come!

Light sauce for homemade mac & cheese. Fewer calories and fat with one secret ingredient!

About The Recipe: Lightened Up Stovetop Mac & Cheese

This recipe is a healthier take on traditional macaroni and cheese. I’m not saying that this recipe is flat-out healthy. But I am saying that if you’re used to eating mac and cheese from a box – or making the full-fat version at home – here is a healthier alternative. Here’s why:

  • I used 2 percent milk instead of whole milk or heavy cream
  • I only used 3/4 cup shredded cheese
  • I added butternut squash puree, which adds a nice color and ups the nutritional value

I would have used whole wheat pasta – but it doesn’t photograph well, so I stuck with regular. I hope you understand.

This recipe is no-bake, so it comes together quite fast. I added some fried onions on the top, which added a nice crunch and extra flavor. Many baked mac and cheese recipes have some sort of crunchy topping, but there’s no reason why your stovetop version can’t have the same thing.

This pepperoni mac & cheese has a buttery panko crust. Yum!

If your kids love macaroni and cheese and you’re looking for a healthier alternative, give this recipe a try. All the traditional components are there: Creaminess, cheesiness, and color. They won’t even know the difference!

Lightened-up, stovetop mac & cheese recipe. Click through for details!

Lightened-Up, Stovetop Mac & Cheese Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

For an even healthier version of this macaroni and cheese, use whole wheat pasta and serve with a side of steamed broccoli or Brussels sprouts.


  • 1 pound package of elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 2 teaspoons chicken Better Than Bouillon (or one chicken bouillon cube)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • French fried onions and chopped scallions, for topping


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and mix until smooth. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly to make a smooth sauce. Heat until simmering. Add cheese, sweet potato puree, and bouillon. Cook for 5 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken. Add nutritional yeast (if using), garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add sauce to cooked noodles. Heat on the stovetop, if necessary. Transfer pasta to a serving dish and top with fried onions and scallions.

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