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cheesy pasta in a white bowl topped with cracked pepper

Healthy Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Healthy homemade mac and cheese that’s flavorful, creamy and so easy to make. Made all in one pot, this stove-top mac and cheese is on the table in no time!


  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces bean-based elbow macaroni*
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 ½ ounces aged Gouda cheese, shredded (¾ cup)
  • Black pepper


Bring water and milk to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in macaroni, bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until macaroni is al dente, 6–7 minutes. 

Decrease heat to low and stir in fontina, Dijon, and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until cheese is completely melted, about 1 minute.

Off heat, add Gouda by handful, stirring after each addition until melted. Cover saucepan and let stand 5 minutes.

Stir mac ‘n cheese until sauce is smooth, adding additional warm milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Because of all the starch in the dish—it’s important to eat this one pot mac and cheese immediately. As it sits, it will start to thicken.

Gluten-free: I haven’t tested this with regular gluten-free pasta, but I developed this recipe using my favorite bean-based pasta which is gluten free, so I recommend using that if you need to keep this GF!


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 451
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 556mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg

Keywords: stove top mac and cheese, stove top macaroni and cheese, healthy mac and cheese, healthy macaroni and cheese,

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