How to Make Effortless Italian-Style Mac and Cheese

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Christina Flores

· 2 min read

Healthy Italian Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 6-8


  • 8 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (preferably whole wheat)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Steps to Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the whole wheat elbow macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until translucent.
  4. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute, until fragrant.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and garlic mixture and whisk to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, to create a roux.
  6. Gradually pour in the low-fat milk and chicken or vegetable broth, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  7. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Add the cooked macaroni and the shredded mozzarella cheese to the sauce, stirring to combine.
  10. Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  11. In a small bowl, mix together the grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  13. Remove the baked macaroni and cheese from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note:

  • For a richer flavor, you can use a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
  • To make this dish even healthier, you can use whole wheat pasta and low-fat milk.
  • If you prefer a creamier texture, you can add a few tablespoons of low-fat cream cheese or Greek yogurt to the sauce.
  • Serve the Italian Macaroni and Cheese with a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables for a complete and balanced meal.

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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!