Three-Cheese Macaroni Casserole

Three-Cheese Macaroni Casserole

I don’t know about you, but I never outgrew my childhood love of macaroni and cheese.

Traditional macaroni and cheese typically consists of noodles, butter, milk — and tons of cheese.

With this casserole recipe, we gave mac-and-cheese a much-needed makeover. It still has the creamy, cheesy appeal, plus a few healthy upgrades.

A hearty amount of ricotta cheese provides most of the creaminess in this casserole.

Mozzarella melts beautifully in the oven, adding creaminess and those long strands of melty cheese, and Parmesan cheese gives it a slightly nutty bite.

In order to make this macaroni casserole more wholesome, there’s a hefty serving of vegetables nestled in all that melted cheese: Red and yellow peppers and broccoli provide a pop of color and add even more flavor.

The recipe also calls for whole-wheat macaroni noodles. You can use any whole-grain pasta, or you can try pasta made from lentils or beans!

You could technically make this dish on the stovetop, and serve it right away, but I highly recommend baking it in the oven.

The oven helps get the noodles piping hot, and makes the cheese turn golden brown and bubbly. You won’t need to call your family down to the table, because the smell of melted cheese is enough to make anyone’s mouth water!

3.12 from 143 votes
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Three-Cheese Macaroni Casserole

With this casserole recipe, we gave mac-and-cheese a much-needed makeover. It still has the creamy, cheesy appeal, plus a few healthy upgrades.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 58 mins
Total Time 1 hr 18 mins
Servings 10 servings, about 1½ cups each
Calories 356 kcal
Author Beachbody

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 lb. dry whole-wheat macaroni (or penne pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion, bell peppers, and broccoli; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  5. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  6. Combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl; mix well.
  7. Add macaroni, onion mixture, and basil; mix well.
  8. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
  9. Place macaroni mixture in a 13x9-inch ceramic (or glass baking dish) that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.

Recipe Notes

High Protein, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Three-Cheese Macaroni Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 356 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 245mg11%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 23g46%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Three Cheese Macaroni Casserole Recipe

Container Equivalents
½ Green
½ Red
1½ Yellow
½ Blue
½ tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
Add a side salad or more veggies and additional protein for a great lunch option.

If you have questions about the portions, please click here to post a nutrition question in our forums so our experts can help. Please include a link to the recipe.

Three Cheese Macaroni Casserole

Photographs by Anguel Dimov and Brianne B of Natural Girl Modern World