Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with lean, green, diet food cuisine! This hearty and healthy Green Mac and Cheese is the ultimate family style meal to serve up this holiday. We turn your classic mac into festive fare with a variety of vibrant green veggies. Who needs a pot of gold when you have a pot of cheesy pasta this good?!
Enjoy a creamy and cheesy noodle dish baked to perfection with fresh emerald veggies. This healthy holiday recipe is so decadent and delicious, your party guests will never believe that it’s diet-friendly and under 300 calories per serving! To pack this dinnertime classic with fiber, we combine whole grain pasta with spinach, broccoli and zucchini. Not only are these green veggies high-fiber and delicious; they’re packed with vital nutrition to keep you healthy and strong on your weight loss journey.
Not a veggie lover? Not to worry! This meal has all the classic mac and cheese flavor you know and love. Even your kiddos will be asking for more! However, if you’re not a fan of the green stuff, feel free to swap in different non-starchy vegetables that you enjoy. Carrots, green tomatoes and green bell peppers will keep the Irish St. Patrick’s Day theme intact, while still delivering your diet a serving of non-starchy vegetables.
To make this Green Mac, get started by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium pot, melt one tablespoon of light butter and whisk in one and a half tablespoons of whole wheat flour. Grab your blender or food processor and blend together two cups of spinach with one cup of unsweetened almond milk. Add the spinach mixture to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about four minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has thickened, add in one and half cups of reduced fat shredded white cheddar cheese and whisk until it has melted. If the mixture becomes too thick, feel free to add a small amount of water if needed. Stir in two cups of whole grain elbow pasta (cooked al dente), two cups of chopped broccoli, two cups of spiralized zucchini and one teaspoon of garlic powder. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes before serving.
The Leaf Pro tip: If you’d like to pump up the protein in this pasta dish, feel free to add another PowerFuel to the mix! Two ounces of grilled chicken, crumbled turkey bacon or lean ground beef would all make delicious additions. You can also swap in your favorite type of cheese. Add some pepper jack for a spicy kick or some mozzarella to make it an extra creamy diet food staple.
Trying to stay on your low carb diet? We’ve got a mac and cheese recipe for you too! Cauliflower and spiralized zucchini make delicious low carb swaps for pasta. Try out our delectable meal ideas and healthy recipes for Buffalo Blue Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Zoodle Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies and Bacon Jalapeno Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. Just add some extra green veggies to keep the St. Patrick’s Day theme! Keep your carb count in check by getting creative with these Eight Low Carb Swaps You Need in Your Kitchen! >
Here at The Leaf Weight Loss Blog, we LOVE leafy greens. They’re beautiful, delicious and some of the healthiest foods that you can put in your body. Check out these 10 Green Foods to Add to Your Diet ASAP and make sure to pick up these Six Leafy Greens That Aren’t Kale on your next shopping trip! If you have trouble getting in your greens, check out the link below for some helpful tips!:
One serving of this creamy and dreamy Green Mac and Cheese contains 290 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Extra and one Vegetable on the Nutrisystem weight loss diet program. Despite being a nutritious and balanced meal, it’s still important to keep track of your mac to stay within your weight loss plan guidelines. The NuMi app is the best tracking tool for your Nutrisystem diet and makes it easy to log your food, water and exercise throughout your journey. Click here to log this recipe in the NuMi app >
In addition to the easy-to-use food journal, you can use the NuMi app to set up meal, water and exercise reminders, participate in fun tracking challenges and share your progress with your friends and family. You can also access special offers and shop for your favorite Nutrisystem meals and snacks using our A La Carte Shop feature! With NuMi, you can even stay up to date with new content and recipes from The Leaf Weight Loss Blog and easily log recipes into your daily journal. Click here to learn more about how NuMi can help you reach your weight loss goals! >
Looking for more healthy diet food recipes to serve up this St. Patrick’s Day? Try out these other Irish-themed ideas:
- Irish Flag Fruit and Yogurt Parfait >
- Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Shake >
- Irish Soda Bread >
- Spinach Dip with Shamrock Tortilla Chips >
- Pot O’ Gold Fruit Tray >
- Skinny Mint Chocolate Brownie Bites >
- Skinny Irish Potatoes >
- Shamrockin’ Tea Sandwiches >
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday of festivities and fun. If you’re not sure how to celebrate this year, we’ve created a special edition St. Patrick’s Day decision tree to help you decide! Click the link below to discover your plans for this holiday:
Preparing a healthy dinner every single night is hard. You’re busy, which is why Nutrisystem delivers nutritious meals right to your door! If you don’t have time to cook your own pasta, our A La Carte store is your answer. Add some steamed greens to one of our delicious Mac and Cheese meals for a healthy and convenient dinner that’s ready in minutes. We offer a few different varieties of mac and cheese, including our frozen Mac and Cheese, ready-to-go White Cheddar Mac and Cheese and the hearty Mac & Cheese with Turkey Sausage. Click here to fill your kitchen with nutritious meals! >
Want to lose weight enjoying delicious meals delivered directly to your door? Get started with Nutrisystem today! >
Calories per Serving: 290
On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable
- 2 cups whole grain elbow pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp. light butter
- 1 ½ Tbsp. whole wheat flour
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
- 2 cups spiralized zucchini, chopped
- 1 ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese, light or reduced fat
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Blend the spinach and almond milk in a food processor or blender.
- In a medium pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to thicken.
- Stir in the spinach mixture and heat it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Add in the cheese and whisk until melted. Add water as needed if the mixture becomes too thick.
- Stir in the pasta, broccoli, spiralized zucchini and garlic powder
- Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.