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Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!

It’s been years since I tasted it for the first time, and I’m still head over heels with greek yogurt. I’m waiting for the honeymoon phase to end. Every time I think to myself “I’ll add yogurt to this, but it probably won’t work the same…”–BAM! It proves me wrong. I’m okay with being proved wrong when it leads to delicious results.

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!

What makes this recipe magical is that the yogurt replaces the high calorie white sauce that would typically fill the mac and cheese. I went ahead and included nutrition facts for this recipe just so that you can see what a difference using the greek yogurt makes. For frame of reference I always use my family’s favorite traditional recipe (Patti LaBelle’s Over the Rainbow Mac and Cheese), which has 631 calories, 38 grams of total fat, 23 grams of saturated fat, and 153 mg of cholesterol per serving. Let’s cut those numbers in half with our giant sword of awesomeness, shall we?

4.7 from 6 reviews

Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. dry elbow macaroni (brown rice or whole wheat works great)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ c. Milk – Reduced fat, 2%
  • 1 t. Salt
  • ¼ t. Pepper
  • ¾ c. Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • 1 c. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 T. panko breadcrumbs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers.
  4. Add in the flour and stir briskly with a whisk to form a roux. Let the roux cook for about 1 minute while constantly stirring.
  5. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly with the whisk.
  6. When the sauce is completely smooth, add in the salt, pepper, and monterrey jack cheese.
  7. Stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is very smooth.
  8. Remove from heat and let the cheese cool slightly before adding in the greek yogurt and whisking together until very smooth.
  9. With the pan still off the heat, add the cooked pasta and ½ c. of the cheddar cheese to the sauce. Stir with a spatula until all the pasta is coated in sauce and shredded cheese.
  10. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish.
  11. Top with remaining shredded cheddar and panko breadcrumbs.
  12. Bake in preheated oven just until the cheese on top is completely melted, about 10 minutes.
  13. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 318 Fat: 14 Saturated fat: 7 Cholesterol: 37

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!

I want to share a quote that I read online recently that really struck me. The author wrote that “Southerners savor their comfort food– they seem like they refuse to fret about the impact it’ll have on their physique or their health. This philosophy, of course, may have its downsides. But it’s also a comforting reminder to the quinoa-munching, juice-cleansing, yuppie rest of the nation that it’s okay to follow our taste buds.” The article is definitely supposed to be comedic, but I took it a little more seriously when I read it. It’s SAD that the rest of the country assumes we don’t care about our health, and it’s even more sad that people equate comfort food with food that will make you obese and kill you. I could write a novel in response to that quote (if you think the south has no yuppies then you haven’t been to Atlanta), but instead I will just say that you can have your cake mac and cheese and eat it too. I may refuse to “fret” but I also refuse to stop enjoying my favorite foods just because I value my health! A dish doesn’t have to contain a week’s worth of saturated fat in order to be delicious. *steps off soapbox*

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!

Most importantly, this tastes incredible. I don’t know how the yogurt transforms itself so well into a sauce, but it just works. Jason loved it and said that it tasted so rich, which is ironic considering it’s so much lighter than our traditional version. In terms of taste, this is my FAVORITE of all the mac and cheese recipes I’ve made.

This Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese is a lighter alternative to a comfort food favorite!I’ve been staring at these pictures for so long that now I’m dying to have it again for lunch! I’m headed straight for the fridge after I press that ‘publish’ button. :D

-Lauren

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{ 36 comments… add one }

  • Lee April 8, 2014, 7:49 pm

    This looks amazing!
    Lee recently posted…Double the FestivalsMy Profile

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul April 9, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Thanks, Lee! :)

  • Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen April 8, 2014, 9:26 pm

    This is my first time to your site and I know we just met but I think I’m in love with your macaroni and cheese. Yep, pretty sure about it. I LOVE Greek yogurt and what a clever way to put it to use. Lovely!

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul April 9, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Thank you so much! So glad you found me!

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes April 9, 2014, 6:04 am

    The perfect comfort food, I can see why this would be addictive.

  • Lisa@CreoleContessa April 9, 2014, 12:00 pm

    I love it, pinned and shared!
    Lisa@CreoleContessa recently posted…Smothered Creole Brussels Sprouts with BaconMy Profile

  • Lauren April 9, 2014, 12:11 pm

    I think mac and cheese might be my favorite guilty pleasure. But looks like you’ve found a way to make it not so guilty :) I’ve been on a huge Greek yogurt kick and have been buying a big tub of it every week or so. I just pinned this and can’t wait to try it!
    Lauren recently posted…Weekends LatelyMy Profile

  • CakePants April 9, 2014, 12:19 pm

    I would not have thought to use Greek yogurt in mac and cheese, but this looks incredible!! Your photos are making me hungry all over again, and I *just* finished lunch!!
    CakePants recently posted…Southwestern Sloppy JoesMy Profile

  • dominique April 17, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to mosey on over to your website, so glad I did! I’m a Veggie, so, love your plant based recipes! Can’t wait to try this one! See you around the A!

  • Lauren April 21, 2014, 3:52 pm

    Hi Lauren,

    What size baking dish did you use for this? Thanks in advance :)
    Lauren recently posted…Easter Weekend ThingsMy Profile

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul April 23, 2014, 1:34 am

    I used a rectangular Pyrex dish, I think it’s 8 X 10. Let me know how you like the recipe if you try it! :)

  • Lauren May 7, 2014, 11:48 am

    Lauren,

    We made this last night (minus the panko and baking part because we had zero patience :P ) and it was incredible! Thanks for an amazing recipe :)
    Lauren recently posted…How To Make a Grocery List Like a ProMy Profile

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul May 9, 2014, 1:25 am

    YAY!!! I’m so glad Lauren! Thank you so much for coming back to tell me. :)

  • Emily May 30, 2014, 1:35 pm

    The 317 calories is per serving?

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul May 30, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Yes, that’s for one serving.

  • Lisa September 28, 2014, 6:03 pm

    This was SO good! I had a hard time with the roux… make sure to add the milk slowly. I used whole wheat shells. It was so delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 13, 2014, 2:36 am

    I’m SO glad you liked it! Great idea to use whole wheat pasta! :)

  • Geetha October 4, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Made this tonight with some spicy oven fried drumsticks– I definitely neglected the chicken to gobble more of this up :-) Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 13, 2014, 2:37 am

    So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  • Katie October 6, 2014, 4:04 pm

    This recipe is so perfect. Such an indulgent treat for half the calories. This recipe is so much simpler than the on you referenced. Not to mention the greek yogurt makes it so rich and creamy.

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul October 13, 2014, 2:38 am

    Thank you so much, I’m so glad you liked it! Don’t you just love greek yogurt? :)

  • lisa November 8, 2014, 7:18 pm

    This is the best mac and cheese recipe, that I have tried! Thank you for sharing!

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 9, 2014, 11:34 am

    So glad to hear it Lisa! I love it too! :)

  • Michelle November 21, 2014, 6:41 pm

    This didn’t work for me at all. Frustrated at a waste of expensive ingredients. It tastes too tangy like plain yogurt. I doubled the cheese to see if it would help. It didn’t. It also had a weird yogurt texture instead of being creamy. It looks beautiful. I served it up thinking maybe I was just picky. My kids made pickle faces. Throwing it out. Its edible but no one will enjoy eating it.

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 9, 2014, 11:30 am

    Hi Michelle! Sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work out for you! I find this strange because I’ve made it several times (and it is reader tested, see comments above) and it always comes out perfectly delicious. The only thing I can think of is that you perhaps cooked the sauce too long? Again, sorry that it wasn’t what you expected.

  • Courtney November 26, 2014, 11:59 am

    I’m about to attempt your recipe but i have a question about the cooking temperature. Is it 400 degrees F or C?

  • Talica November 30, 2014, 12:23 am

    What’s the serving size?

  • laura December 12, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Has the serving sized been answered?

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 19, 2014, 11:07 pm

    Laura it’s about 2/3 c. per serving. :)

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 19, 2014, 11:05 pm

    Hi, Talica! Serving size is roughly 2/3 cup. :)

  • yass December 14, 2014, 1:30 am

    Really appreciate the Tlc you have for your food

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 19, 2014, 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much, what a sweet comment!

  • Dari December 16, 2014, 12:25 am

    This was really very tasty! A full minute was too long on the roux for me (burnt it the first time), but I moved faster the second time around, and from there, it was just easy stirring and melting. Great recipe!

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 19, 2014, 11:08 pm

    So glad you liked it Dari!

  • Elizabeth December 16, 2014, 10:38 am

    Hosting girls night tonight and I’m making this! It was recently listed on “21 Mac& cheese recipes that are better than a boyfriend” ha, perfect!
    Do you think if I 1.5 the recipe it’ll fill out a 9×13 pyrex baking dish?

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul December 19, 2014, 11:06 pm

    Yeah I think that size pan will work great! Hope you and your ladies enjoy it, Elizabeth! :)

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