The Best (Dairy or Vegan) Light Macaroni And Cheese

The Best (Dairy or Vegan) Light Macaroni And Cheese

My version of macaroni and cheese takes on a healthier profile with a few minor ingredient changes while still maintaining the creaminess of a traditional recipe. Olive oil, low-fat milk, and vegetable stock reduces fat, whole-grain pasta increases fiber, and peas add protein and vitamins. Reduced-fat and vegan cheeses can also be used with equally tasty results. A 1 cup serving only has 443 calories, 20 grams of protein, 17 grams of fat and 284 mg of sodium.

NUTRITION SUMMARY & MODIFICATIONS: Medium sodium. Low potassium. High phosphorus. To lower the potassium and phosphorus, use regular pasta instead of whole-grain pasta and decrease the cheese amount to 1 cup total.

The Best (Dairy or Vegan) Macaroni And Cheese

The Cooking Doc®


  • 1 16-ounce box whole grain elbow pasta
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter or butter substitute
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% milk or non-dairy mik
  • 1 1/4 cups no-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium hot sauce or to taste
  • 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen peas


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the pasta, stirring to prevent pasta from sticking together, cook for 2 minutes. Add the peas and cook until the pasta is al dente, about another 3–4 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Place the pot over medium-low heat and add butter and olive oil to melt.
  • Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure to reach the edges of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the roux from scorching.
  • Increase heat to medium and gradually whisk in a few tablespoons of milk at a time, whisking until the milk is incorporated before adding more. Add the vegetable stock and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes.
  • Gradually add the cheese, whisking until melted.
  • Add the pasta and peas to the cheese sauce, stir to combine, and serve immediately.
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