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A bowl of creamy, healthy protein packed mac and cheese made with chickpea pasta, broccoli and spinach. Macaroni is topped with extra cheddar.

Protein Packed Healthy Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4


It’s here! A healthy mac and cheese recipe that is packed with protein, broccoli and spinach. Perfect as a full meal and a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more veggies. 


  • 1 box (8 oz) Barilla Chickpea Rotini
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 Tablespoon organic butter
  • 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedge
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (more, if needed)*
  • 1 handful chopped baby spinach
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chickpea rotini pasta, return to a boil and cook for a total of 8 minutes, adding in the broccoli florets at the four minute mark. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  2. In the same large pot over low/medium heat add butter, milk, salt and pepper. Once butter has melted add in drained pasta and broccoli, spreadable cheese wedge and shredded cheese. Let cheese melt a little, about 30 seconds. Use a spoon to stir everything together until pasta is well coated with cheese, adding more cheese if needed. Add in chopped baby spinach and toss until wilted.
  3. Serve immediately with additional salt and pepper, if needed.


  • I used organic Irish cheddar cheese and shredded it myself, but you can use whatever you prefer including reduced fat cheddar cheese.
  • If you want to make this recipe vegan or dairy-free you can use vegan butter, vegan shredded cheddar cheese and 1 Tablespoon of vegan cream cheese instead of the spreadable cheese wedge.
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


  • Serving Size: 1 (made with reduced fat cheddar cheese)
  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 354mg
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

Keywords: protein mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese