A little extra boost in this protein Mac and Cheese fills you up and gets you going! Rich and creamy cheese, easily made gluten free and packed with cheese–a new family favorite dinner or side dish for sure!
So many reasons to love mac and cheese–this one is given the extra umph of Greek Yogurt and protein pasta to really fuel you up!
Who says your mac and cheese can’t be delicious with benefits?
More Protein Please!
For a long time, I only connected mac + cheese with sadness. It was one of those foods that friends of mine and I ate to heal broken hearts and cure bad days. I was deeply emotionally tied to this food and so I often avoided it.
But it was time to move on from this connection. Mac and cheese doesn’t have to be just comfort food, it can be nourishing, fuel for the body. And maybe a little comforting as well.
Wait, can Mac and Cheese be healthy?
YES! YES! YES! So often, we give bad raps to things considered comfort foods. But macaroni and cheese can be a great meal or side to add some goodness into your day.
Carbs are made out to be awful anymore, but your body really does need them. Please know that mac and cheese IS a great option for you to eat!
I started making this Protein Mac and Cheese when all the protein packed pastas were hitting stores. Banza brought it’s chickpea pasta out and people couldn’t believe it–pasta from chickpeas?
So I went with it and tossed in some Greek yogurt, whole milk and cheese. Plenty of protein packed into a cheesy mac and cheese recipe if I do say so myself!
You don’t have to use a protein pasta in this recipe and you will still find that this recipe has s a fair amount of protein included.
If you are looking to keep it gluten free, use gluten free panko crumbs and double check that your pasta is gluten free as well. This protein mac and cheese pairs well as a dinner side or can easily be a meal. I added peas to mine one night, but Anthony is not on board with those so he went pea free. At any rate, dig in and enjoy!
What to serve with this recipe:
You can certainly eat this protein Mac and cheese as your dinner in and of itself. But there are plenty of great things to enjoy along with it.
- Break out the slow cooker and make this Simple Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken to serve along with this protein Mac and cheese. The perfect combo!
- Burgers are also perfect to serve along with macaroni and cheese. Try these Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers or my FAAAAVORITE Cilantro Lime Black Bean Burgers.
- Butter Herb Instant Pot Salmon anyone?
- Some grilled chicken or a nice steak along with these Roasted Maple Balsamic Brussels sprouts also sounds amazing to me.
- We love Mac and cheese with Chicken Fingers. These Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Tenders are a hit every time in our house!
You may also love this Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce for a dairy free pasta dish!
Protein Packed Baked Mac and Cheese
- 8 oz. chickpea pasta or pasta of choice
- 2 c your favorite shredded cheddar
- ¾ c plain Greek Yogurt
- ¾ c milk of choice
- ½ c panko/breadcrumbs gluten free if needed
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dash of paprika
- dash of crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt, more to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Boil and cook pasta as directed by box instructions.
- Drain pasta and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine milk and Greek yogurt over medium heat.
- Whisk frequently to combine.
- Slowly add in 1 1/2 c cheese and whisk to form sauce and wait until cheese is melted. Stir in spices and seasonings and whisk to combine.
- Add in pasta and stir to combine.
- Pour cheesy pasta into a small (8×8, 9×9 or a casserole dish) baking pan lightly coated with olive oil.
- Sprinkle panko or breadcrumbs over top and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top is browned as desired.