I can’t say with any shred of historical accuracy that Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chip Topping is how Aphrodite seduced every god on Olympus, but I think it’s a reasonable theory.

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chip Topping

Think about it: togas are not particularly flattering, goddesses are by definition high maintenance, and Aphrodite didn’t exactly have a reputation for loyalty. Her secret: Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chip Topping. This glorious pan of bubbly, cheesy noodles piled high with Greek-inspired ingredients—spinach, bell peppers, sundried tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese—would beguile Zeus himself.

Now, you and I might not be able to fire lightening bolts, control the tides, or make it summer 365 days a year (my personal super-power wish du jour), but we CAN channel our inner-almighty and transform a leafy green salad into macaroni and cheese.  This is my idea of might.

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Topping // Well-Plated

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chips

I adore salads at lunch, but when dinner rolls around, a cold bowl of greens simply doesn’t satisfy me. I crave something warm and hearty to get me through these long winter nights of The Bachelor and The West Wing (I’m on Season 5 and obsessed).  Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chip Topping takes the flavors and ingredients of one of my favorite salads—Greek salad—and loads them into the ultimate comfort food dinner: baked macaroni and cheese.

Staying true the Greek-salad inspiration, I kept this macaroni and cheese lean and mean with a secret ingredient: low-fat cottage cheese. Don’t freak out. The cottage cheese melts beautifully into a creamy sauce, along with cheddar and a heap of tangy feta. It gives the sauce richness and body, without the excess of heavy cream.

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chips

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chip Topping is also packing vibrant and healthy flavor, thanks to a heap of classic Greek-salad ingredients: bell peppers and red onions, spinach, sundried tomatoes, olives, and feta. This is an Athens-approved party in a pan.

OK, so I lighted up this Greek Mac and Cheese, but that does not mean  I’m willing to forgo the crowning glory of any self-respecting baked macaroni and cheese: the crispy crunchy topping. To keep it Greek, I swapped out the typical breadcrumbs for crushed up pita chips, tossed them with a bit of olive oil and oregano, then sprinkled them all over the top. OH MY. That dusting of crushed pita chips is tantamount to Zeus showering his good favor down upon the planet. It is DIVINE. The pita chips are extra crunchy and toasty, the ideal contrast to the creamy-dreamy feta cheese sauce.

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crunchy Pita Chip Topping Channel your inner god/goddess and bake Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crispy Pita Chip Topping. Aphrodite can keep her fleeting powers of seduction. With this pan of brightly flavored, pita-topped goodness, we have heaven on earth!

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crunchy Pita Chip Topping

Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crunchy Pita Chip Topping

5 from 3 votes
Creamy macaroni and cheese loaded with feta, olives, sundried tomatoes and spinach, topped with crunchy pita chips. A healthy baked mac and cheese recipe.

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup crushed pita chips
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach thawed (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 2 cups non-fat milk divided
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese shredded, about 6 ounces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese about 4 ounces
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives sliced
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni or penne
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for serving

Instructions
 

  • In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Add the onions and cook until beginning to turn translucent, 5-8 minutes. Add red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and garlic and cook until the peppers are tender, about 8 additional minutes. Add red wine vinegar and cook 2 additional minutes. Set aside.
  • Bring large pot of water on to boil. Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray. (A deep 9x9-inch pan will work as well). Mix breadcrumbs, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and oregano in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture. Place sundried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water (this will rehydrate the tomatoes.) Set aside.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 ¾ cups milk over medium-high heat until steaming (do not boil). In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup milk and flour until smooth, then add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook pasta for 6 minutes, until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain pasta, then add to cheese sauce; mix well. Drain the sundried tomatoes, then fold them into the mixture, along with the sautéed onions and peppers, spinach, feta cheese, and olives. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, then top with crushed pita chips.
  • Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes, checking at the 15-minute mark to ensure that the pita chips are not toasting too quickly (if they are, cover the pan with foil and continue baking.) Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.

Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese can be prepared through Step 4, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To bake: Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, then proceed with the recipe as directed, baking for 35 to 45 minutes.

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To celebrate the glory of mac and cheese, I’ve teamed up with a stellar group of bloggers for Mac and Cheese Mania. Check out these incredible recipes—I can’t decide which one to try first. (Or second, or third…)

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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53 Comments

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  1. Girl! This may be my most fav of yours yet! Greek food is pree much the best food of life…and combined with mac and cheese that is SKINNY?! You are my favoritest ever.
    Plus, cottage cheese?! Love it! Pinned!

  2. Oh yum Erin – I actually love the addition of cottage cheese! I saw in America’s Test Kitchen, it’s recommended over ricotta in lasagna and pasta dishes – cottage cheese just makes everything juicier and delicious!

  3. I’ve always turned to cottage cheese to make a creamy, low fat mac and cheese, so I’m so excited you’ve paried it up with Greek flavors! I’m obsessed with everything in a Greek salad and am always looking for more ways to enjoy the flavors.

  4. This post is hilarious. I just really enjoy reading your writing! This mac and cheese looks and sounds incredible! I would probably eat more salads if they were also mac and cheese at the same time. :)

    1. Thanks so much Beth! That means a lot. I do love salad but if all salads became mac and cheese, I wouldn’t object!

  5. Yum! I love all the flavors going on here. And I totally think togas are flattering. Hello – you’re just wearing a bed sheet! ;)

    1. Lindsay, I should give togas more of a chance! Maybe it’s because anytime I went to a theme party wearing one (or when we put them on over our uniforms to recite Julias Caesar in high school), I could never tie it properly. Mine would end up looking like a weird burrito or something, lol.

  6. I can’t wait to try this! I looooove greek food and mac and cheese…this is like the combining of two wonderful worlds!

  7. I love this twist on Mac & Cheese! The lightened up version makes me feel a little bit better about devouring a bowl (or two) of it.

  8. Best idea ever! Love this skinny mac & cheese married with greek flavors and that crunchy pita chip topping is like music to my ears! Thanks girl, pinning:)

  9. Hmmm … yes, I think your theory is totally correct! Or is this what they served at the first Olympics? (History never was my strength!) Either way, this looks DEEEEELISH!!!
    We love mixing up our mac and cheese at home – and Greek (skinny, no less!) mac and cheese will be a welcome addition to the dinner table! My hubby and kids don’t care for olives … so that means more for me!!!! Yay!! :) I can’t wait to make this soon!
    My husband’s very favorite show is The West Wing! Such a great show!! Since you love it, try The Newsroom. Aaron Sorkin is the writer of both. It’s on HBO and this summer will be the final season, but it’s a fantastic show!

  10. This sounds divine- I love the idea of a skinny mac n cheese- best thing ever! Loving the Greek aspect of this dish! :)

  11. Ohhh I adore the Mediterranean flavors in this and the crunch pita chips atop the cheesy mountain of goodness!! I would not be able to eat just one bowl!

  12. I am all for a warm comforting dinner too. This is such a great idea, love all the flavors in there!

  13. Salad and The Bachelor certainly don’t mix. I need something much guiltier. :) Preferably with cheese–and pita bread crumbs.

  14. Unfortunately my GREEK FIANCE hates all things mediterranean (cough feta and olives cough) but the way I see it…more for me. LOVE THIS.

    1. Joanne you must have a love that withstands all ages and trials! ;-) More for you is right. My hubs hates lemon, so guess who gets dibs on ALL the lemon cupcakes around here? Mwahahaha!

  15. Did you say creamy feta sauce??? Can I have this stuff for dinner for the rest of my days?? Say yes, say yes.
    This looks terrific <3

  16. Ok, this is amazing! First of all: greek mac and cheese?? I’m so in love with that combination. Second: it’s skinny??? Third: your photos are beautiful! I am so so so in love with this. :) Pinning and making ASAP! Hope your week is going well, sweet girl!

  17. Oh.my.goodness. Can I come live next door? And eaet this for the rest of my life? I’m pretty sure I could. The pita chips on top are blowing my mind. I LOVE pita chips and I LOVE pasta. And who says no to skinny? You are a genius. This better be one of your top 10 recipes at some point because this recipe deserves some serious respect! :)5 stars

    1. I’m blushing Mary Frances! This is one of my all-time faves, but it means so much hearing that you like the looks of it too :) Thank you!

  18. Healthy mac n’cheese, pah! That wouldn’t taste good would it?? But then… *takes a forkful*… speechless. OH MY. So good. The “Greek ingredients’ add so much flavour and the crunch of the pita chip topping is to die for! So good. Thanks hon, love everything about this healthy recipe! x5 stars

    1. Thanks Laura! Though this mac has “skinny” in the title, I promise you it tastes anything but. I think it’s the power of the feta :)

  19. I, a law student, made this for my boyfriend, an attorney, tonight. And it was delicious! I just discovered your blog and we have a lot in common. I did my undergrad degree at UW-Madison so I know all about your love for the Farmers Market (can you say spicy cheese bread and the tent with all the cheese samples?!). I also started dating my boyfriend when he was a second year law student before going on to become a law student myself. Hang tight. It’ll get better. :)5 stars

    1. Shoreh, I am so, so excited to hear that you tried this mac and cheese and loved it! Thanks for the encouragement and for taking time to share your review too :) Makes my day!