Healthy Macaroni and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta

Have you tried quinoa pasta?  If not, you are missing out!  This healthier alternative to regular pasta is also quite delicious!  Even my mom, who famously said “I’ll just have to get used to it” (talk about a rave review :))at a dinner party where I served whole wheat pasta likes it.

Now I know that when you think of quinoa recipes, macaroni and cheese is probably the last thing on you mind.

In this quinoa pasta recipe, I’ve adapted a healthier macaroni and cheese recipe.  Now, I love MY macaroni and cheese, but even with the adaptations it is still far from being healthy fair.  This recipe makes use of cauliflower to add bulk and creaminess!

I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta Shells but you could use any other quinoa pasta as well.

A Few Notes on How to Cook Quinoa Pasta

First, make sure your water is at a full boil.  Add pasta and then a few teaspoons of salt.  The package says 7-9 minutes, but for me it takes closer to 9.  I’ve taken it off at 7 minutes and it was no where near done.  You need to test and see what works on your stove – it isn’t quite like white pasta where nothing can go wrong.  It’s not that cooking quinoa pasta is difficult, but you just need to pay a little more attentionIf you are not ready to toss with the sauce I recommend adding a few teaspoons of olive oil to prevent sticking.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6

Calories per serving: 404

Fat per serving: 18.3 g

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese with Quinoa Pasta

I must confess that I was very slow to adapt to quinoa pasta as a regular part of my diet. The first few times I prepare it I undercooked the pasta and the results were less than desirable. Since I'm planning on a quinoa pasta section in the new cookbook, I knew I had to get it right! I finally did and it was a huge hit at my house. Only my 5 year old didn't go for it and that was based on the fact that he smelled cauliflower, not how it tastes!

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 can evaporated whole milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp mineral sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 5 ounces muenster cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce fresh grated Parmesan (not canned!)
  • 4 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1 package shell quinoa pasta

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl beat egg. Add in evaporated milk, cayenne, sea salt, pepper and Dijon mustard.
  2. In a different bowl, combine 4 ounces muenster, cheddar and Parmesan.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Cook quinoa pasta according to package directions in the same water. (Tip : make sure you don't under cook! The package warns against overcooking but under cooking is bad too!)
  5. In an empty pot combine egg/milk mixture with the cheeses. Cook over medium low heat until the cheese melts. When the cheese is melted, add to food processor. Blend until smooth.
  6. Toss pasta with sauce.
  7. Place in a medium oven safe dish. Top with remaining 1 oz of muenster. Broil for 5 minutes.
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Do you have a favorite quinoa pasta dish that you would like to share –  If so, I’d love to hear from you!

  • Carol

    This recipe sounds so good. I printed it out to try this week. Stumbled your site!
    Namaste, Carol
    My recent post Cathy Adams Zen Parenting Radio Shows!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much Carol! Thanks for the stumble too! I hope that you enjoy the recipe.

      Your site looks really interesting – my boys are 5&6. I will definitely check it out. I am pretty sure that there isn't a parent alive who couldn't benefit from guidance. What does the term indigo sons mean?

      Sent from my iPad

  • Kbs

    do you have any recipes for making your own pasta with quinoa? We love to make our own pasta, but I haven't been brave enough to use quinoa flour yet. Just wondering if you have any tips/ideas

    • Wendy Polisi

      I have a recipe that I have written, but because I don't have a pasta maker I haven't tested it yet. Shoot me an email if you would like me to send it to you. Wendy ( wendy at wendypolisi dot com

  • D. H.

    Wondering what is the recipe for the salad on the side in the photo…. ???