Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I have gotten many requests to make a low point mac and cheese recipe. Here’s a baked macaroni and cheese recipe that even got my skeptical daughter’s approval.

I lightened this by reducing the butter, I replaced cream with skim milk and chicken broth, and I added some fresh baby spinach. I liked Sargento 2% cheddar cheese because after trying several cheddars, this was the one I felt tasted best and melted beautifully. I also use Ronzoni Smart Taste which is less points than regular pasta, with the same great taste. Whole wheat or low carb pasta would work with the same points too.

If you want to make this a quick stove top mac and cheese, you can serve it without the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Points remain the same. Next time I make this I’ll play around with using other vegetables like mushrooms or broccoli, and possibly try it with a variety of reduced fat cheeses.

Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points +: 7 pts • Smart Points: 10
Calories: 296.67 • Fat: 9.7 g • Protein: 15.8 g • Carb: 34.5 g • Fiber: 5.3 g 


  • 12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 8 oz Sargento 2% reduced fat mild cheddar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • cooking spray


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Spray a baking dish with buttered flavor Pam. Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring with a whisk. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and baby spinach. Pour into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more buttered flavor Pam on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.