Healthy Lean and Green Mac and Cheese Recipe (The Lean Green)

Lean and Green Mac and Cheese – A Healthy Twist on a Comfort Classic

Mac and cheese is a comfort food favorite, loved by people of all ages. However, it’s often high in calories, fat, and carbs and doesn’t offer much nutrition. The good news is that there’s a healthy twist on this classic dish – lean and green mac and cheese, aka the lean green.

Healthy and Nutritious

This dish is a healthier version of your traditional mac and cheese recipe. It replaces the heavy cream, butter, and cheese with more wholesome and nutritious ingredients. The result? A creamy, rich, and delicious mac and cheese that’s also good for you!

The lean and green mac and cheese features low-fat dairy products and nutrient-dense green vegetables. Some variations of the recipe include spinach, broccoli, peas, or kale. These ingredients add flavor, texture, and nutrition to the dish, making it a well-rounded and balanced meal choice.

Great for Weight Loss Goals

If you’re trying to lose weight, the lean and green mac and cheese is a perfect option. It’s a low-calorie and low-fat dish that won’t compromise on flavor. By swapping out high-calorie ingredients like traditional cheese and pasta, you can still indulge in your comfort food cravings without the guilt.

The green vegetables in the dish are also high in fiber, which can help you feel full for longer and reduce your appetite. This can be helpful for those who tend to overeat or snack between meals.

A Crowd Pleaser

The lean and green mac and cheese is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family. It’s a great alternative to regular mac and cheese that can satisfy even the pickiest eaters. The creamy texture, combined with the savory flavors of the green vegetables, makes for a tasty and satisfying meal.

You can easily customize the recipe to your liking by adding different green vegetables, spices, or proteins. Some variations of the dish include adding bacon, chicken, or smoked paprika for an extra smoky flavor. You can also experiment with different types of cheese or pasta to switch things up.


The lean and green mac and cheese is a delicious and healthy twist on the classic comfort food. It’s perfect for those who are looking to make healthier food choices without compromising on taste. This dish is a great option for weight loss goals, as it’s low in calories and high in fiber. You can also customize the recipe to your liking and make it a crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Give it a try, and you won’t be disappointed!


– 340g Whole Wheat Pasta
– 1 Bunch of Kale
– 2 Cloves Garlic
– 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
– 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
– 2 Cups Nonfat Milk
– 1/2 Cup Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
– 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
– 1/4 Tsp Salt
– 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
3. Remove the kale leaves from the stems and chop them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
4. Add garlic and butter to a large pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until fragrant.
5. Whisk in flour and cook for an additional minute.
6. Gradually whisk in milk until the mixture thickens, and then stir in the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
7. Add the chopped kale to the pan and stir until it is wilted.
8. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix with the cheese sauce.
9. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
10. Serve hot and enjoy your ‘Lean and Green Mac and Cheese’!

Ask the Chef

– Adding a pinch of nutmeg in the cheese sauce can enhance the flavor of the dish.
– You can use any type of whole wheat pasta that you like, such as penne or rotini.
– Make sure to remove the tough stems from the kale leaves and only use the tender ones to avoid a tough texture.
– For a crispy topping, mix bread crumbs with grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the mac and cheese before baking.
– If you want to add more protein to the dish, consider adding grilled or baked chicken breast to the pasta before mixing it with the cheese sauce.
– You can also use spinach instead of kale if you prefer.

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