This healthier mac and cheese recipe is a firm family favourite. It is full of flavour and vegetables but also low fat so really good for you.

Leek and macaroni cheese
Leek and macaroni cheese

Just Average Jen is an independent blog and in no way connected with any weight loss plan and no contributors have been trained by them or worked for them. It is the reader’s responsibility to check Slimming World syn values, WW points and any other allowances themselves as those given are approximate.

Macaroni cheese for weight loss

If you enjoy macaroni cheese but are trying to lose weight it can be really hard. Macaroni cheese is full of cheese, fat and generally delicious but not great for losing weight. This recipe is a much healthier version.

If you follow Slimming World, Weight Watchers (WW), Noom or any other weight loss plan you can usually count the ingredients within this recipe in your allowances. It is of course important to check yourself any plan you follow and remember all nutritional information and ingredients are found in the recipe card below.

grated cheese
Grated cheese

Healthier mac and cheese budget shopping tips

Shopping around to see which shops have offers on your usual products can make a big difference to your weekly shopping bill. Additionally don’t forget to check out the yellow sticker reductions and freeze what you can. Leeks are often reduced and a great way to make this recipe even cheaper.

Frozen vegetables are nutritionally just as good as fresh usually so do keep an eye for those too to save money. If you use frozen leeks for this recipe I recommend draining any water from them after frying.

If you spot quark reduced in the supermarket it can easily be frozen and then defrosted in the fridge to use for this recipe or any of my other quark recipes.

Do you have any particular frozen vegetables you love? Do share them with me it is always nice to hear people’s recommendations.

Raw leeks
Raw leeks

Healthier Lunch ideas

If you are eating healthily you may have difficulty in finding lunches for work. This healthier mac and cheese is just one of many amazing lunch ideas I have found so do check out my other recipes for more ideas.

If you take lunch then you are so much less likely to buy food which inevitably will be less healthy. Taking a variety of food throughout the week to work keeps your lunchtimes interesting and stops you from getting bored.

Even if, like me, you work alone at home it can make such a difference having your food already prepared for you. Why not give it a go and make sure you build a variety of lunches into your weekly meal plan.

Spinach and pea frittata
Spinach and pea frittata

My healthy lunch essentials

My favourite healthy lunch buys to help you stay healthy and eat plenty of vegetables with a few cheap and easy purchases.

If just buying a lunchbox or suitable tub means you have great lunches all week then it surely has to be worth it. Check out my 4-week meal plan of healthy lunches done for you!

Breakfast quesadilla
Breakfast quesadilla

Why you need vegetables to lose weight

Everyone knows vegetables are good for you, don’t they? They are healthy and filling for very few calories!

The best vegetables are those with low-calorie density. Basically, we are talking about healthier vegetables – potatoes don’t count but butternut squash is much healthier for example!

This means if you eat 100g of spinach, for example, it is just 23 calories and obviously, 100g of anything would fill you up significantly. On the other hand, 100g of crisps, which would be just as filling, is around 536 calories!

Find more tips about the best vegetables for weight loss.

Quark tips

In recipes like this healthier mac and cheese that need quark, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure it tastes good. Quark doesn’t have much flavour so ensure you flavour the dish well.

Quark is available in most large supermarkets now and even stocked in Aldi and Lidl. You can usually find it near soft cheeses in a tub similar to that you would buy cottage cheese in.

Due to the low-fat content of quark, it easily splits if heated too much or has hot water or hot liquid added to it. Be careful and stir in gradually and you should be ok.

Quark pot
Pot of Quark

Etsy for weight loss

If you are like me and like buying fun new items to motivate your weight loss, then here are my favourites. Etsy is great for items for the kitchen and weight loss goodies. I could spend hours browsing there.

There are so many great food diaries too so you can record your meal plans and track your weight loss to keep a record of the good and bad weeks. Click the photos to have a look for yourself.

weight loss sign
a bottle of milk
A weight loss sign
teaspoon saying calories don\'t count on this spoon
Weight loss magnet
A close up of a bouquet of skinny whip bars

More healthy recipes you may enjoy

For more pasta-based recipes for all the family check out my ultimate pasta recipe post with recipes like creamy cheese and ham pasta bake.

If this has made you realise you should use quark more and are looking for more recipes with it check out my ultimate quark recipe list here including quark cheese sauce.

If you are vegetarian or want to eat more vegetarian or plant-based meals I have a full list of vegetarian and vegan recipes here. A tasty recipe with similar flavours to this mac and cheese is my cheesy leek and potato pie.

Leek and potato pie
Cheesy leek and potato pie

Weight loss and Exercise Support

I have a lot of weight loss guides and support if you want to exercise including if you have a condition like fibromyalgia.

Have a good look around and see how I can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Request my free resources to get you started too!


Have you ever tried mushroom macaroni cheese? I saw it recently and haven’t tried it before but it sounds good so I am going to try it!

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Leek and macaroni cheese

Low-fat healthier mac and cheese recipe – unofficial Slimming World macaroni cheese

  • Author: JustAverageJen
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Portions 1x
  • Category: Main meal
  • Method: Oven and Hob
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Low Calorie


A delicious healthier mac and cheese which tastes so naughty but is low fat and great on Slimming World or other weight loss plans



6 leeks trimmed and sliced thinly

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

300ml vegetable stock

300g Dried macaroni pasta shapes

400g Quark

6 tbsp Tomato puree

1 tsp mustard powder

2 eggs, beaten

160g reduced-fat cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 200°c/Gas 6.

Cook macaroni pasta shapes according to packet instructions, strain and set aside.

Meanwhile spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and gently fry the garlic for two minutes then add the sliced leeks and stock and bring to the boil then simmer for 6-8 minutes.

Transfer leeks mixture and pasta to a mixing bowl and stir to mix well

Mix the tomato puree, beaten eggs, mustard powder and quark until smooth and add this to the leek mixture.

Season well and ass the cheese leaving a little to sprinkle on top.

Pour the mixture into a large oven dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


The cost could be reduced using frozen leeks if required.

Keywords: pasta, pasta bake, mac and cheese

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