How to Make Delightful Italian-Style Mac and Cheese

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Christina Flores

· 3 min read

Healthy Italian Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 12 oz whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Steps to Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, flour, mustard, black pepper, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Add the cooked macaroni and diced tomatoes to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  9. Garnish with the chopped fresh basil.

Cook’s Note:

  • For a creamier texture, you can use low-fat ricotta cheese instead of some of the mozzarella cheese.
  • To add more vegetables, you can mix in sautéed spinach, broccoli, or bell peppers.
  • For a crunchier topping, you can sprinkle breadcrumbs or crushed crackers on top before baking.
  • This dish can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

This Healthy Italian Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a delicious and nutritious twist on the classic comfort food. By using whole-wheat pasta, low-fat dairy products, and fresh vegetables, this dish provides a healthier alternative to traditional mac and cheese.

The key to this recipe is the creamy cheese sauce, which is made by whisking together low-fat milk, flour, and Dijon mustard. The addition of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses gives the sauce a rich and flavorful taste, while keeping the calorie and fat content in check.

The diced tomatoes and fresh basil add a burst of freshness and color to the dish, complementing the creamy pasta perfectly. Additionally, the whole-wheat macaroni provides a good source of fiber, which can help promote digestive health and keep you feeling full for longer.

One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily customize it to your liking by adding different vegetables, such as sautéed spinach, broccoli, or bell peppers. For a creamier texture, you can also substitute some of the mozzarella cheese with low-fat ricotta.

To make this dish even more satisfying, you can top it with a crunchy breadcrumb or cracker topping before baking. This not only adds a delightful texture contrast but also helps to create a golden, bubbly crust on the top of the macaroni and cheese.

Another advantage of this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat it in the oven or microwave, and you’ll have a delicious and healthy meal ready to go.

Overall, this Healthy Italian Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a fantastic way to enjoy a classic comfort food while also prioritizing your health. With its creamy, cheesy sauce, fresh vegetables, and whole-wheat pasta, it’s a dish that the whole family is sure to love.

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About Christina Flores

Hi, I am Christina Flores, author of I'm passionate about creating delicious and nutritious recipes to help people lead healthier lives. Join me on this culinary journey as we explore the world of healthy eating together!