Cottage cheese is a surprise ingredient in the best EVER white cheddar mac & cheese that kids and adults RAVE about!
Pandemic cooking calls for comfort food.
I’ve had this recipe for years, but only pulled it out recently during the pandemic which has had us all staying home. We’ve been eating lots of basic, simple, satisfying comfort meals during this time. I made this a few days ago, and my husband and daughters RAVED!! They all declared this the best Mac & Cheese they’ve ever tasted.
Cottage cheese in Mac & cheese?
Yes!!! Don’t worry, it is FABULOUS!! It may look at bit different (you’ll see the curds), but it just works. I use cottage cheese sometimes in lasagna. It adds great creaminess and tons of protein.
My sister-in-law shared this gem of a recipe.
My sister-in-law found the recipe in a decades old Alabama Power cookbook and tweaked it slightly. It is SO easy to make, and it is absolutely delicious. She brought it to the lake for the family to enjoy, and it has been a favorite ever since. Because it travels well, it is easy to make and take to the lake, beach or a party.
No roux is necessary for this mac & cheese.
Traditional mac & cheese calls for a homemade roux made with flour and milk. This recipe does not. Instead, the sauce is a combination of cottage cheese, sour cream, white cheddar, and one egg. These ingredients are mixed together in a bowl, and the pasta is added once it is cooked. The dish bakes into a cheesy, creamy tangy mac & cheese that is incredibly delicious.
Use good quality sharp white cheddar.
Best results come from a good quality sharp or extra sharp white cheddar that you grate by hand. It takes only a few minutes and a little elbow grease to do this, and a box grater works beautifully. Packaged pre-shredded cheese is not going to give the same fabulous results. You can use 10-12 ounces~whichever you choose. When using 12 ounces, you might choose to reserve some to sprinkle on the top before baking.
What kind of cottage cheese is best for mac & cheese?
The best cottage cheese to use for this recipe will be 2% fat or higher. Fat free will not yield good results. I have used small and large curd for this recipe; either one works perfectly fine. The cottage cheese curds will be visible when the dish is baked, but this adds to the rustic appearance of the dish.
This mac & cheese is a great make ahead dish.
The recipe can be made a day or two ahead. Simply combine the pasta and all ingredients, mix well, and store in the fridge in a ziploc bag. Keep it refrigerated until ready to bake. It should be fine in the fridge for up to two days. When ready to bake, spread mixture in a greased baking dish, and bake uncovered at 350 ˚ for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
How to serve this Mac & Cheese
Buttermilk Brined Chicken is a great entree for this side dish.
This healthy Chick-Fil-A Copycat Superfood Salad is a great side.
You will really love this mac & cheese; I am sure of it!! I would love to hear from you if you try this dish, so please leave comments! Thanks so much for stopping by! Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 1 (16-ounce) box ziti or penne pasta
- 1 (10-12-ounce) block sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
- 1 (16-oz) container cottage cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup kosher salt (for boiling water)
- In salted water, boil pasta according to package directions.
- Drain pasta (do not rinse); place in large bowl.
- In small bowl, mix cottage cheese, sour cream, beaten egg, and grated cheddar.
- Stir until all pasta is covered in sauce..
- Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and pasta slightly crisp at the edges.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 7g