Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese – 181 calories

Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese – 181 calories

Yep, you read correctly, Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese! This recipe originally came about when my daughter asked for some macaroni and cheese, but I didn’t have enough pasta. I added some quinoa to the dish and instantly wondered why I hadn’t been “sneaking” it in all along.

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I tried many different variations to get the pasta and quinoa ratio right, and when I took my first bite into version I knew I had created something both decadent and healthy. Try it out yourself, and if you can get a hold of some, make it with the Truffle Oil and the Truffle Salt it adds so much rich flavor and transforms this comfort food dish into a foodies’ dream dish!

This is the perfect side dish for chicken, steak, even barbecue! Looking to make this dish a meal? Instead of dividing into 9 portions divide into 6 and enjoy the best homemade lunch of your life! Or add in left over cooked chicken and veggies and turn this into a delicious casserole.

Makes 9 servings.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth or water will also work)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta (elbow and small shells work best)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk (whatever milk you have will work fine)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt (or sea salt)

Get started:

- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

- In a small sauce pan bring the chicken broth and quinoa to a boil, bring down to a simmer and cover. When all the liquid is absorbed remove from heat and set aside.

- Bring 3 cups water to a boil and add in pasta, cook until al dente then drain and set aside.

- In a large sauce pan add the butter and truffle oil, turn heat to medium and melt the butter. Once melted add flour and mix in a figure 8 motion until it forms a paste, about 5 minutes.

- Add milk to the butter flour paste and whisk to remove any lumps, cook on medium heat stir often until it thickens enough to coat your spoon, about 20 minutes.

- While your sauce thickens, make your crunchy topping by combining 1/3 of the cheese, Panko crumbs, garlic powder and truffle salt in a bowl and set aside.

- Once your sauce is thick, reduce heat to low and add in the pasta and quinoa. Mix until all is coated, then add in 1/3 of the cheese and mix together.

- Remove from the heat and add in the remainder 1/3 of the cheese, mixing until it is all dispersed but not melted. Tumble into a 9 by 9 casserole dish and top with the cheese and breadcrumb topping.

Quinoa Mac N Cheese- Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is crisp and the cheese sauce has thickened. Place under the broiler for one to two minutes if needed to help crisp the top.

- Let set for 10 minutes before serving so the sauce can firm up.

Nutrition information:

Each serving (approximately 10) has:

Calories: 181

  • Fat: 7.5
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 8.5
  • Carbs: 20


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This article has 6 comments

  1. For whatever reason got this email 2X….same time…

    Sent from my iPad

  2. 181 calories? Why have i never had this?!

  3. Anyone who can make mac ‘N cheese slightly better for me is a miracle worker in my book!! I’ve also tried sneaking some veggies in there by way of cauliflower and kids don’t tend to notice lol. Also I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award! 3090 Helmsdale Place

  4. Just tried this tonight! My kiddos haven’t tried it yet as it is still cooling off…but OH MY!!! This is amazing, I love it! The Quinoa makes the dish! Thank you for sharing!!! I can’t wait for my kids to try it!!!

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