Sinfully Rich and Skinny Macaroni & Cheese, Italian-Style

Get ready to make the most amazing mac and cheese, skinny or not!!! This casserole is so over the top rich and is completely vegetarian. Using a store-bought container of light Alfredo sauce transforms ordinary mac and cheese into extraordinary! To make it super cheesy and keep it skinny, I’m adding fat-free cottage cheese or ricotta cheese to the sauce and topping the casserole with a small amount of reduced-fat mozzarella. Each serving, 293 calories, 9 grams of fat.   Great to make for the family and truly fabulous to impress company!
Sinfully Rich and Skinny Macaroni and Cheese, Italian-Style

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Healthy Benefits
I love the fiber-rich whole grain pasta available in the supermarket today. Barilla Whole Grain Elbows contains 6 grams of fiber for a 2-ounce serving!
Frozen spinach might just be more nutritious than fresh. The nutritional benefit of fresh spinach, in just four days in the crisper, can be greatly reduced.  Frozen spinach is processed immediately after being picked, locking in the nutrients.

Shopping Tips

Use Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, if possible. It comes in a 10-ounce container and can be found in most supermarkets in the refrigerator section, where fresh pasta and sauces are displayed. If you can’t find it, there are several brands of jarred light Alfredo sauces in the pasta aisle. They come in a larger, 15-ounce jar, so you’ll have some leftovers.
There are several brands of whole wheat or whole grain small pasta that will work for this recipe. I used Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta. It looks like a macaroni shell. You could also use a whole grain or whole wheat penne or rigatoni pasta if desired.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (about 1½ cups each)
293 calories, 9g fat, 5g sat. fat, 49mg chol, 18g protein, 36g carbs, 5g fiber, 593mg sodium, 5g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
270 calories, 5g sat. fat, 16g protein, 4g sugar


Sinfully Rich and Skinny Macaroni and Cheese, Italian-Style

Sinfully Rich and Skinny Macaroni & Cheese, Italian-Style

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 293 kcal


  • 2 cups (8 ounces) dry Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta or penne, see shopping tips
  • 1 (10 oz) container Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, see shopping tips
  • 1 (9 oz) package frozen and thawed chopped spinach, well-drained
  • 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese or fat-free ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light, melted
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 egg, I like using Egg-land’s Best eggs
  • A small dash of salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup shredded (2%) reduced-fat mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. You can use glass or metal.
  • Cook pasta. Cook for only 6 minutes so it will not be overcooked. No need to add salt to water! Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together Alfredo sauce, drained spinach, cottage cheese, milk, butter, and garlic. Add pasta and mix really well. Blend in egg, basil, salt, and pepper. Be sure it’s all mixed together well.
  • Transfer pasta to the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake casserole 25 minutes until golden brown. Let casserole rest for 10minutes. Cut into 6 serving. This casserole freezes great!


Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 18gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 593mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5g
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!




  1. 5 stars

    Just wanted to let you know that I suggested this to my wife since my inlaws were vegetarian and they came for dinner the other night. They like the recipe so much that they ask for the leftovers to go!

    Anyways, thanks a lot for sharing this. Excited to send the next recipe here to my wife the next time my inlaws come for dinner again.

    Have a great day!

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