Macaroni and Cottage Cheese Casserole Recipe

Mac and Cheese
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 (9 x 12-inch) casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
433 Calories
27g Fat
26g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 433
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 798mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 422mg 32%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 193mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mac and cheese is a favorite family meal, and it's even more satisfying when you skip the boxed version. Instead, use this recipe to make a fabulous macaroni and cheese casserole from scratch. It's easier than you may think, and the addition of cottage cheese and sour cream turns the ordinary macaroni and cheese into a deliciously creamy casserole. Best of all, it's ready and on the dinner table within an hour from start to finish, so it's perfect for a busy weeknight.

The key to this recipe is that combination of cottage cheese and sour cream. Sharp cheddar cheese boosts the flavor and counters the mild cottage cheese, and grated Parmesan completes the cheesy trifecta. Seasoned with salt and black pepper, then topped with breadcrumbs for a crusty top, this recipe is sure to up your mac and cheese game.

Use this recipe as a starting point for inspiration to create your own version. For instance, you can add leftover chicken or toss in some cooked veggies. Another option is to spice it up with paprika, garlic powder, or other finds from your spice cupboard. While elbow macaroni is traditional in mac and cheese, you can also use any other short pasta shapes—bowties, shells, and corkscrews are fun options.

The casserole works wonderfully as an entrée for a light meal when served with bread and a fresh green salad. It's also an excellent side dish that will complete any dinner featuring your family's favorite beef, chicken, or pork main.


  • 8 ounces dry elbow macaroni

  • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs

  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the elbow macaroni 1 minute less than the directions call for.

  3. Drain the macaroni very well and add to a 9 x 12-inch baking dish.

  4. Stir in the cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

  5. In a small bowl, stir ​the breadcrumbs and melted butter together.

  6. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the casserole.

  7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling.