(Lighter) Gouda Macaroni and Cheese, Plus Foodie Gifts

Lighter Gouda Macaroni and Cheese by Spicie Foodie

When we moved to Europe one of the items that we always asked for in our care packages was boxes of macaroni and cheese. My husband and I so craved the taste of comfort food from home. (Back then I didn’t cook) Every time we tore open the shipment containers we grinned at the sight of those little blue boxes. It wasn’t that the taste of the packaged macaroni was fantastic, it was simply that it connected us to our families and childhoods in the states.

Lighter Gouda Macaroni and Cheese by Spicie Foodie

In the earlier European days we both craved a taste of home more often than we do now. So receiving those care packages was something we were very grateful for. You’d be surprised at the silly things one can miss when they move away from their native or adopted land. That also leads to spending a considerable amount of money to buy those products from specialty shops which import them. Once we found a few of the blue mac & cheese boxes here and ended up spending about four times than we would back home. Ah… the things you’ll do when you’re home sick.

Lighter Gouda Macaroni and Cheese by Spicie Foodie

Eventually we both got over those cravings and have really taken a liking for local products over ones from back home. Even so it doesn’t mean that we still don’t crave certain foods -we do. One day I decided that I would teach myself how to cook better and non-color additive macaroni and cheese. It took me a couple of tries but I finally have a simple yet delicious recipe. Additionally it is lighten up a bit so we can enjoy it more often. By “lighten-up” I don’t mean using fat-free or light ingredients. No, my recipe uses full fat ingredients and if you substitute them with fat-free products the results will not be the same. Here’s how I make my mac & cheese.

4.8 from 8 reviews
(Lighter) Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lighter recipe for Macaroni and Cheese using Gouda. It's creamy, lower in calories and kid and family friendly.
Recipe type: Pasta, Noodles, Kid Friendly, Light, Fast, Easy
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 bag (400 g) macaroni noodles
  • 100 gm Gouda, shredded
  • 1¼ cup or 300 ml whole milk
  • 40 g or 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of salt, extra if desired
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp flour
  1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to package instructions. While the noodles are boiling start the sauce. In a large pot melt the butter, once melted saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir until it forms a roux (thick paste). Pour half a cup of milk into the pot and stir until well combined. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and the ground black pepper into the pot, stir well. Add the shredded cheese and a little more of the milk. Continue stirring as the cheese begins to melt. Pour the rest of the milk and continue stirring until the cheese completely melts and the cheese sauce forms. Taste again and adjust salt if necessary.
  2. Mix the cooked and drained macaroni into the pot, be careful not to overspill. Continue mixing until all the noodles are well coated with the sauce. Serve right away.
!--Cheese is salty so hold off on adding too much salt at the beginning of cooking. Check sauce again before adding noodles to it and adjust f needed.


Lighter Gouda Macaroni and Cheese by Spicie Foodie

The result is a creamy sauce that coats the noodles without having them swimming in it. I’ve been cooking our macaroni and cheese this way for about two years. It is one of our favorite meals and also the base for one of my husband’s famous recipes. (I’ll share his recipe soon.) If you must have a cheesier meal then you could of course double the sauce ingredients…I have yet to do so. The recipe can be served as a meal for two or as a side dish for four. Additionally you could swap out the Gouda for Cheddar or any other firm to semi-firm cheese.

Lighter Gouda Macaroni and Cheese by Spicie Foodie

Christmas is exactly two weeks from now (wow!) and over the course of this week I’ll be sharing some gift ideas for the foodie bloggers and photographers in your life.

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide To Better Photos special offer!

I am running a special limited time offer on my food photography eBook guide. You can buy a copy directly from me (via Paypal) and have it delivered to your friend. With this offer you can personalize a special message for them. Please use the contact form to inquire or email me directly at spiciefoodie (@) gmail.com Please do not send payments until you contact me first.  Sales price is $8.99 -a bargain!

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide To Better Photos special offer!

The following are gifts for food blogger photography needs. 1.Lighting Strobe Kits 2.Cleaning Kits (for camera and lens) 3.PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO CONTINUOUS LIGHTING UMBRELLA KIT + Free 27 Watts 5500K Fluorescent Photo Lamp Bulb 4. Protect Your Lens with A Filter 5. Reflector Kits (bounce,reflect or diffuse) 6.Spring Clamps (to hold the reflector, boards, backgrounds in place)



  1. says

    When my cousin and her husband were living in Spain last year and she was pregnant, that was her one big craving too! I sent her boxes and boxes of the organic Annie’s mac n’ cheese – so funny! This looks delicious Nancy :)

  2. frida says

    Will be making this really soon. The kids and I love Mac&cheese, but it has to be home made, after you make it once the box thing it’s just not good enough. I usually make it with a sharp Cheddar and
    mix Munster, mozzarella, even Chihuahua asiago, cream cheese but haven’t tried Gouda.

  3. says

    My husband showed me #5 gift the other day and asked if I could use it. Well – DUH! :) I know what you mean about missing food. A friend of mine in New Orleans ships me a care package from Louisiana each year and I ship a care package of New Mexico chile to a friend that used to live here in NM. I think it’s funny that one the things you miss the most is macaroni. It wouldn’t be the first thing on my list, but now that you mention it, mac & cheese would definitely be missed. I love that you used Gouda!!!!

  4. Andrea says

    I really want to try this recipe, but I don’t have a kitchen scale and the only conversion is the cheese. Do you know how many cups (etc.) that is?

  5. Katsu says

    (I used about a cup of shredded smoked Gouda.) It wasn’t quite as light as I hoped. I think I’ll reduce the butter and use nonfat yogurt or sour cream instead– I longed for some kind of tang. I also used smoked salt and teeny bit of nutmeg. It definitely inspired me to make it and continues to inspire me, thanks for sharing.

  6. says

    This seems so so easy. I’ve always been a little vary of making them because I’m afraid of getting really gloopy sauce and mushy pasta. Perhaps it isn’t that difficult after all.

  7. says

    I wish we lived closer so we could share a meal of mac & cheese! I’ll bring the green salad and you can teach me how to take gorgeous photos!!!! I think that’s a good idea;-)

  8. says

    I am absolutely positive that this is nothing like the boxed version, lol. But I bet it is strange the things that you would miss if you could no longer get them. Looks and sounds delicious!
    I know I have more to catch up on but I have to get back to work…I’ll be back :) Big hugs!

  9. says

    Nancy, Gouda is one of my favorite cheeses and I have never used it in a macs & cheese. I look forward to trying this, I know it will make my husband very ecstatic.


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