This is a healthier — but every bit as delicious — spin on everyone’s favorite comfort food: mac and cheese! I love this recipe because you don’t need to make the sauce on the stove — you just mix up a few ingredients in a bowl, combine with pasta and veggies, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. It is SO easy, and has an awesome texture and flavor. I love sneaking cottage cheese into my cooking because it packs SO much protein. Seriously, have you checked the protein content of your cottage cheese lately? 1 cup of cottage cheese has 30g of protein!! (I use 4% cottage cheese. I believe the lower-fat versions may have slightly less). 30g!! That’s equivalent to 5 eggs or 1 cup of chicken! So I frequently try to substitute things like cream or cheese with good old protein-packed 4% cottage cheese. In addition, by adding in some nutritious green veggies to the dish, you totally won’t feel as guilty about going for seconds!
Cottage Cheese Baked Mac & Cheese with Broccoli [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]
1 lb pasta shells (You could substitute in whole wheat pasta for an even healthier dish)
1 lb broccoli, steamed (fresh or frozen)
2 cups 4% cottage cheese (Friendship is my favorite)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus 3/4 cup for the topping
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 tbs dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
Prepare pasta according to directions, cooking until al dente. Meanwhile, steam broccoli. When pasta and broccoli are done, drain well and mix together in a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13×9″ baking dish.
In smaller bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 1 cup of the parmesan, milk, dijon mustard, and salt. Mix cream sauce into the pasta and veggies, and pour into the baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until cheese on top is starting to lightly brown.