Protein Packed Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

by / 5 months ago

If you think the only way to eat “healthy” is to eat salads and baked chicken breasts you’re doing it wrong. I don’t know about you guys, but if I had to omit all of my favorite foods from my diet all of the time just to be in shape or look a certain way I’d lose my mind. I’m more about living a sustainable lifestyle and always making the best with what I have. That being said, my kids are obsessed with macaroni and cheese. Instead of giving in and making 2 separate dinners, my husband and I found a way to adapt our girl’s favorite into a macro friendly, protein packed meal.

This recipe serves 8 so you can use the leftovers as meal prep. Did I mention I somehow also found a way to sneak some veggies in?

*disclaimer this post contains affiliate links

Protein Packed Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese


1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 15 oz can (or 7 oz) pumpkin puree (note – do not use pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup steamed, cubed butternut squash (optional)

1 3/4 cups fat free cottage cheese

4 oz Barilla Protein Plus elbow noodles (may substitute with Penne)

4 oz Barilla Cellentani noodles

3/4 cup sharp cheddar

2 tsp Chili Powder

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder


Protein Packed Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese



1. Preheat oven to 375* and prepare noodles per package instructions

2.Brown ground turkey in frying pan and add garlic powder and chili powder.

3. While noodles are boiling and turkey is browning, combine cottage cheese, pumpkin and butternut squash in blender until smooth. Should be of this consistency:

Protein Packed Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

4. Spray 9×13 baking dish with canola oil. Combine turkey, cooked noodles, and cottage cheese/pumpkin and spread evenly into dish.

Protein Packed Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

5. Top evenly with cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Protein Packed Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese

The nutrition facts/macros are as follows:

If you want to learn more about how to track macros with MyFitnessPal click here: How to Calculate Recipe Macros Using MyFitnessPal

To ensure proper measurements I use this digital food scale:

Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11 lb 5 kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included)

And for meal prep/food storage I love these containers:

Freshware 15-Pack 3 Compartment Bento Lunch Boxes with Lids – Stackable, Reusable, Microwave, Dishwasher & Freezer Safe – Meal Prep, Portion Control, 21 Day Fix & Food Storage Containers (32oz)

If you give this recipe a try be sure to let me know what you think and/or tag me, @mysocaledlife, on Instagram.



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