Light Macaroni and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese recipe is a lighter take on the usual.  The secret is using tofu instead of lots of cheese. It might not taste as decadent but I don’t feel sick or guilty after having a serving of this.  This is also really, really easy to make and makes enough for leftovers.

Light Macaroni and Cheese (Recipe adapted from thekitchn)
1 pound of pasta shells
1 lb box of silken tofu, drained
2 cups milk (I used whole)
2 tbsp mustard (I used honey mustard)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
2 tsp cornstarch
6 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup bread crumbs
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9″ square baking dish with butter or oil (I used butter).

Bring pot of water to boil to cook pasta.  Make sure you salt your water generously, it comes out tasting much better.  Cook until al dente. Drain in a colander then set it aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium/low heat, add tofu, milk, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Use an immersion blender break up the tofu until smooth.  When it starts to simmer, whisk in cornstarch and shredded cheddar cheese. Keep stirring for a few minutes until it thickens.

Place the pasta into your baking dish and carefully add the sauce, then sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until its slightly browned and crispy. Let rest for 10 minutes.

If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a fork to mash up the tofu instead.  You can also experiment with additions such as mushrooms, artichoke hearts (like the original recipe calls for) zucchini, or pretty much whatever you feel like eating. I’d also try different seasoning such as cumin and thyme, or even rosemary and pair the dish with roasted chicken. This could be made even healthier with whole grain pasta and maybe some wheat germ sprinkled on top for more texture (although I haven’t tried it).

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Urban Scarlet March 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

i did a post about homemade mac 'n cheese a few weeks ago & loved it. i added bacon + crab… so deelish. i absolutely love this recipe and the cute cup that it is in!!


Rachel March 15, 2011 at 4:57 am

I will definitely have to try this — thanks for sharing! And I don't think I'll mind the tofu at all, since I love eating it anyway.


Maddie March 9, 2012 at 10:06 am

this looks really yummy and delish! I was super surprised that tofu was an ingredient


vv October 24, 2012 at 1:25 am

oh. my. goodness.

thank you for sharing this recipe (as well as your tweaks)! i’ve been on the hunt again for recipes to add to my limited repertoire, & this one is a must.



Marsha Gainey October 11, 2014 at 7:32 am

This made a beautiful pan of baked pasta. The top was crunchy and golden brown. The dish as a whole was well seasoned. But I wanted it to be cheesier and creamier. I would suggest doubling the cheese. I’m going to make this again and do this, although it will make it not so light in calories, fat, and carbs. But the use of tofu in mac and cheese is ingenious!


Marsha Gainey November 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

I have made this twice, once using extra firm tofu (because that was all they had at the store) and mashing it with a fork (because I don’t have a stick blender), and the second time I used silken tofu and whizzed up everything in a stand blender. I thought the version with firmer and forked tofu turned out better because it had a more appealing texture. I also used yellow mustard, smoked paprika, and panko in each version. Both versions looked gorgeous and were very well seasoned. I wanted to try this recipe because I had never seen a mac ‘n cheese recipe using tofu, and it did not disappoint!


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