Three-Cheese Macaroni from 'The SparkPeople Cookbook'

Three-Cheese Macaroni from 'The SparkPeople Cookbook'

4.2 of 5 (132)
member ratings
View recipe video
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 6
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 259.6
  • Total Fat: 7.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 12.9 mg
  • Sodium: 425.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 39.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 12.6 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Three-Cheese Macaroni from 'The SparkPeople Cookbook' calories by ingredient


Cheesy, rich, delicious--just what you expect in macaroni and cheese. What you won't expect? 2/3 the fat and half the calories of the original!
Cheesy, rich, delicious--just what you expect in macaroni and cheese. What you won't expect? 2/3 the fat and half the calories of the original!

Number of Servings: 6


    For the Sauce:
    2 tbsp light butter
    2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    1 1⁄2 cups skim milk
    1 bay leaf
    1⁄8 onion, cut in a wedge
    2 cloves
    1⁄4 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss
    1⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1⁄4 tsp salt
    1 pinch cayenne
    8 ounces whole-wheat elbow pasta, dry
    (see Note)
    6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
    1 slice whole-wheat bread, processed into
    2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


Like this recipe? It's from "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." Click here for more info.


If there is a food more comforting and satisfying than homemade macaroni and cheese, we haven’t found it. But a typical homemade recipe—made with cream, butter, and full-fat cheese—has about 400 calories and 25 grams of fat per serving; our version has a third of the fat and about 250 calories per cup. We slightly reduced the amount of cheese, used whole-wheat pasta, and chose flavorful ingredients to create a version that tastes good while cutting extra calories.
This recipe still keeps some fat, which is what adds flavor to this dish. You could make macaroni and cheese with fat-free cheese and no butter, but would you want to eat it?
Though it seems counterintuitive, eating a smaller quantity of a rich dish can be more satisfying than a larger quantity of a dish made with “filler” foods, those that have little flavor and nutritional value. This is a comfort food that you can feel good about eating.
My three boys love this dish. We usually serve it as a side dish rather than an entrée—it goes great with Spicy Turkey Mini Meatloaves (page 201) or just grilled chicken breasts. You can leave out the turkey bacon to make this dish vegetarian; add a pinch of dry mustard to the sauce for a
sharper flavor.

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare a 9" x 13"
casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the butter in a medium saucepan, melt
over medium-low heat, and cook until foaming.
Add the flour and stir well with a wooden
spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the
milk, whisking to incorporate.
3. Attach the bay leaf to the onion wedge using
the cloves. Drop the studded onion into the
milk mixture with the clove/bay leaf side down.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture
thickens, about 15 minutes
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to
package directions, but don’t salt the cooking
5. Remove the studded onion from the sauce
and discard. Add the Swiss and cheddar
cheeses. Stir to combine and heat the sauce
until the cheese is just melted. Season with salt
and cayenne.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sauce,
bacon, and cooked macaroni; toss to coat.
Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a
small bowl.
7. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared
baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs and
Parmesan. Bake uncovered until bubbly and
golden, about 15 minutes.
Note: You can swap half the pasta for 3 cups of
blanched broccoli or cauliflower

Serving size: 1 heaping cup

TAGS:  Poultry |

Member Ratings For This Recipe

  • no profile photo

    52 of 57 people found this review helpful
    If you substitute cooked chicken breast for the bacon you could probably save on the amount of salt in the nutritional figures. This would help for those with high blood pressure. - 1/6/11

  • no profile photo

    43 of 43 people found this review helpful
    I skipped the salt and bacon (I don't cook with salt), and my family loved it.

    Other variation: panko crust instead of the breadcrumbs.

    I also really liked the commentary about "eating a small amount of rich food can be more satisfying..."; very helpful information. Thank you
    - 10/18/11

  • no profile photo

    38 of 39 people found this review helpful
    Read the recipe carefully. The cloves are used as a pin to attach the bay leaf to the onion wedge. Then it is tossed. The onion, bay leaf and cloves are just for flavor, not to eat. - 10/6/11

  • no profile photo

    Very Good
    32 of 32 people found this review helpful
    This was really good. For those who said it was too many pans or time consuming....I made the bacon in the microwave, boiled the pasta and drained, made the cheese sauce in the pasta pot and mixed it all together in the pasta pot. - 8/5/12

  • no profile photo

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
    I didn't have any cloves or a bay leaf and I subbed in some minced ham deli meat instead of the bacon, low fat mozza for the swiss. I took the suggestion of the dry mustard and swapping out half the pasta with some blanched cauliflower. It was a little labour intensive but well worth the effort. - 1/27/12