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5-Ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

Do you love mac and cheese but hate the calories and fat that come along with it? We're serving up a super healthy version in this quinoa mac and cheese!

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Seriously is there anything better than a bite of super creamy, cheesy goodness? It's pretty much heaven on earth if you ask me.

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Still to this day, even though I know how awful it is for me, I sometimes crave Kraft macaroni and cheese. It's so weird, because that was never anything that I even ate growing up (we were an Annie's family all the way). There's just something about that box of junk delicious pasta that makes my mouth water (eww…I'm grossed out just writing that).

But for those of us who like to eat healthy not shove our faces with that orange-tinged pasta gook, you need to search for alternatives.

5-ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese....with a super healthy secret ingredient. Click to find out!

Which is exactly what we're doing today. And we're making it as easy as humanly possible.

The base of this quinoa mac and cheese is not the heavy cream or milk that you're used to. In fact, we've used butternut squash to create the ultra creamy sauce. Instead of noodles, we opted for quinoa (which is packed with protein and nutrients of course). We've got a little cheese thrown into the mix, but for those of you vegans I'm sure Daiya or an alternatve.

Basically, what I'm saying here, is that is a 100% guilt free mac n' cheese recipe that your entire family with gobble up – even the kiddos. It's seriously addicting.

Can't wait to hear what you think of this quinoa mac and cheese recipe! I swear, it's like my favorite meal on the planet right now…!

5-ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese....with a super healthy secret ingredient. Click to find out!

5-Ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Do you love mac and cheese but hate the calories and fat that come along with it? We're serving up a super healthy version in this quinoa mac and cheese!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword 5 ingredient recipe, healthy mac and cheese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 369 kcal
Author Alyssa

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 - 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup goat cheddar or shredded cheese of choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Peel and seed butternut squash. Chop into 1" chunks, add to a stock pot, cover with 1" of water and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender.
  3. Add almond milk and dijon mustard into blender and blend on high until silky smoothy and creamy. Add more milk as needed - texture should be thick, but easily pourable.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and add quinoa and cheese. Stir until combined.
  5. Spoon mac n' cheese into ramekins (or baking dish), smooth tops and bake for 20 - 30 minutes, until bubbly.
  6. Remove from oven, cool slightly and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

Additional spice options:

- Paprika
- Tumeric
- Chili powder
- Hot sauce
- Salt & pepper

Nutrition Facts
5-Ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 369 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 255mg 11%
Potassium 926mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 5g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 404.3%
Vitamin C 47.7%
Calcium 33.6%
Iron 20.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


 

 

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5-ingredient Quinoa Mac and Cheese....with a super healthy secret ingredient. Click to find out!
85 comments
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  1. This looks great! I sometimes add butternut squash to my mac&cheese, so I know I’ll love this recipe. My family is going camping next week and I’m trying to do my best to continue to eat healthy while away with others who don’t. I’m planning on making the squash puree before we go and jar it. That way, when we’re all having KD I can just cook some quinoa real quick and add the squash and cheese. Super happy I came across this, thanks!

  2. Since this serves 4-6 and I am only one person can I freeze the other portions? How long can this last in the fridge also? Thanks!

  3. Yum! Just made this, and enjoyed it for my Super Bowl dinner. I added a shake of nutmeg and turmeric to the mixture before baking. Thanks!

  4. HI,
    So I made this the other day. I have to tell you, I had to be sneaky when putting this together. My hubby can form an opinion about what he is eating by what he sees going into it! lol. and I knew he would do that with this. So I served this delicious “mac and cheese” to him and he loved! When he was about half way through I told him about the squash. He was shocked! . It is that good and good for you. We loved this, next time I make it I won’t have to be sneaky…lol. Thank you!

  5. Wow! This is the first of your recipes I’ve tried. I didn’t think I was a big fan of quinoa, but I made this Quinoa Mac and Cheese today and it was Delicious!!! I substituted Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese blend for the Goat Cheddar because that is what I had on hand. So good!

  6. […] 5 Ingredient Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese Unless you’re severely lactose intolerant (and if so, we apologize in advance), there’s no denying the mouthwatering delight found in a big ol’ spoonful of mac and cheese. But, unfortunately, this childhood go-to has pretty much zero nutrition. That is, until you’ve tried this recipe that sneaks quinoa into every bite. What you get from adding this super grain into the cheesy goodness is a ton of protein, fiber – and some hearty iron (extra important to nom on after a hard workout!). Get the recipe: Simply Quinoa […]

  7. The recipe sounds awesome…. Hoping my three year old {who doesn’t like mac n cheese. or anything else for that matter} goes for it… going to make it tonight 🙂 Thanks for sharing… I totally love your blog, found you on pinterest !

  8. I love the idea of making a mac and cheese with quinoa. I am a huge fan, as well as my son’s fiance, the guys? Ummm well they live with it HA! I will have to through this together the next time they are over and see what they think of it.

  9. I tried this with cauliflaur just because it was available in my fridge…delish. I steamed the veggie kind of “aldente” so each bite was a satisfying morsel like with macaroni.

    • Just calculated it with myfitnesspal and its about 450 calories per serving along with 21 grams of protein + 5 grams of fiber.

  10. I made this for dinner last night and loved it! I have to admit, I used a brick of Birdseye frozen butternut squash to save time but it worked wonderfully! I stirred the almond milk, cheese, and spices to create a seriously smooth, silky cheese sauce. (I used about a tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp dry mustard, and a pinch of cayenne and nutmeg — I left out the Dijon and used dry mustard instead.) Seriously, just a pinch of nutmeg makes the biggest difference in homemade mac & cheese and it complements the butternut squash as well 🙂 I have always wanted to “love” a butternut squash mac and cheese and this is the first one I’ve tried that isn’t overwhelmingly squash-y. I have a feeling this is going to be an oft-repeated meal 🙂

    • We don’t always have a big selection of squash at the grocer and I have no clue what size a “small” squash would weigh. But I can find frozen chunks. Can you give me a close measurement 2 cups? Etc? I want to try this! Thanks

      • Hmm…I think we probably used about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of squash in this recipe. I’d start with less and work your way up as you mix everything together. I’m going to have to test this yet again and get the cup measurements. I’ll report back with my findings!! xo

    • Yay!!!! So happy you liked it. I’m definitely going to add the nutmeg next time, sounds delish! Now that I’ve made this mac and cheese, I’m dreaming up other ways to change it up. I’m going to try carrot next I think 🙂

  11. I can’t wait to try this but my family and I are not fans of squash and I never buy it. I haven’t cooked with quinoa as of yet and wondered would carrots work? I have used carrots as a sneaky ingredient in a lot of my dishes.

    • I don’t think that carrots would be the same. What about sweet potatoes? Or you could also try pumpkin (although the flavor would be a little different). I’m going to give it a whirl with carrots and see if it works. Will be sure to let you know!

  12. Oh yum, that’s so cool that you put butternut squash inside the mac and cheese for creaminess. The mac and cheese looks deliciously mouth watering. How did you learn to take beautiful pictures? Your’e pictures are gorgeous!

  13. I love the idea of using quinoa instead of pasta. It definitely delivers more in the way of nutrition. Plus the addition of butternut squash totally takes it over the top. Thank you so much helping Rachel and I make this event a success!

  14. Okay, so I made this today and I want to portion it for separate meal, it mentions 4-6 servings, can you give me an estimate on how many calories there would be in a serving, this will help me decide on the size, otherwise I am liable to eat the whole thing! ha ha 🙂 I have weakness for cheese and it doesn’t help that I LOVE quinoa!!

    • Hi Terry, thrilled you liked mac and cheese! I actually don’t calculate the calories on my recipes, but there are tons of free online tools you can use to plug in the ingredients and it will tell you all the nutritional information 🙂

    • I love goat cheddar! I’m sensitive to cow’s milk, so goat cheddar is a great alternative. I use it on pizza, grilled cheeses, you name it! You can purchase it at Trader Joe’s if you have one near you 🙂

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