This creamy Greek yogurt macaroni and cheese has all the creamy, cheesy comfort of the traditional dish but is a whole lot lighter and healthier for you!
Let’s chat about everyone’s beloved mac ‘n cheese shall we?
Um, it’s a freakin’ mess and a half to make. Right?!
I mean, there’s grated cheese everywhere because we all know a good mac ‘n cheese doesn’t just have one cheese in it (unless it’s sausage mac and cheese) including the floor which then of course means dog saliva all over my floor as well with an eager Weimaraner at my feet, a pot to boil the pasta in, a pot to make the cheesy sauce in, sometimes a baking dish if it finishes off in the oven and that assumes you haven’t had to cook any extras (like meat or something) which requires it’s own cutting board and skillet along with everything else.
Every time I make it (unless it’s Annie’s and god bless Annie. Really, she’s a savior some nights) my kitchen literally looks like a tornado tore through it.
I’m not sure any other meal wreaks the kind of havoc mac ‘n cheese does.
But I still love it.
Outside of his mom’s Greek food, it’s Ulysses favorite meal too so unfortunately the tornado-ized kitchen happens a bit too often.
So I set out to do 2 things with this Greek yogurt macaroni and cheese recipe.
1. Lighten things up to create a recipe that doesn’t make you feel like you belong in a confessional after eating.
2. Seriously pare down on the pots and pans used to make it.
With greek yogurt and goat cheese as most of the creamy factor in this recipe, I’d say #1 gets a solid A.
And with 1 pot, 1 cutting board and 1 small skillet for #2, I think that’s about as good as it can get for mac ‘n cheese.
Plus, it tastes out of this world and it’s got bacon. The end.
Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac ‘n Cheese with Peas and Bacon
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
- 2 ounces grated mozzarella
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, full fat or 2% are best
- 2 cups whole wheat elbow pasta
- 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Cook bacon over medium heat in a skillet until crispy, drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Once boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente (about 6 minutes). Add the peas to the pasta water during the last minute of cooking.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the peas and pasta into a strainer.
- Return the pasta to the pot, add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and all the cheeses and yogurt. Stir until all the cheese melts and coats the pasta evenly. Add more pasta water as needed.
- Scoop the pasta into bowls and top with the cooked bacon.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.