Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs

  • 25MINS
  • 50MINS
  • 397KCAL

Packed full of hidden veg, this Cheesy Mac 'n' Meatballs recipe is slimming friendly – but you'd never guess!

  • Bakes and Roasts pinchofnom.com
  • Batch Cook pinchofnom.com
  • Everyday Light pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs pinchofnom.com

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories397
  • Carbs47g
  • Protein29g
  • Fat9.4g
  • Saturates4.1g
  • Sugars4.1g

Cheesy Mac N Meatballs - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

Our Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs has loads of hidden veg which makes it super easy to achieve your 5 a day. Don’t be put off by the cauliflower in this recipe, as it helps to create a really rich, creamy sauce that you’d never guess was mostly made from veg – and it’s really low on calories too!

Herby pork meatballs full of grated courgette add a really tasty twist to this dish and the crispy, golden melted cheese on top make it feel super indulgent. Our Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs is the perfect family friendly meal and as it’s suitable for freezing, it’s a great choice for a quick and easy meal if you have a busy week ahead!

Serve with a crisp, mixed salad or even our Cheesy Garlic Bread for a delish meal that feels much naughtier than it actually is (just remember to adjust the calories accordingly for any accompaniments you choose!).

What diets is this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs suitable for?

This Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs can be made suitable for gluten free diets by swapping the following ingredients out for gluten free alternatives:

  • Stock pot
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Macaroni

It can also be made suitable for vegetarian diets as long as you use vegetarian substitutes for the following ingredients:

  • 5% fat lean pork mince
  • Chicken stock pot
  • Make sure to double check that your cheese is suitable for vegetarians – most are, but some use animal rennet!

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs recipe?

  • If you’re on WW Green, you need to count 10 Points per portion of this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs recipe.
  • If you’re on WW Blue, you need to count 9 Points per portion of this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs recipe.
  • If you’re on WW Purple, you need to count 9 Points per portion of this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs recipe.

Do you need any special ingredients to make this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs?

You should be able to find Herbs de Provence and panko breadcrumbs in your local supermarket!

How many calories are in this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs?

There are 397 calories per portion in this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs which means it falls into our Everyday Light category. 

This Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers. 

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Firstly make a start on the sauce. Spray the pan with low calorie cooking spray and sauté the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the cauliflower and the stockpot. Just cover with boiling water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until tender.

Step 1 pinchofnom.com

Step 2

While the cauliflower cooks, preheat the oven to 180ºC and make the meatballs.

Step 3

Wrap the grated courgette in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. You might be surprised at how much comes out.

Step 3 pinchofnom.com

Step 4

Place in a bowl along with the pork, breadcrumbs, egg, herbs and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands until well combined, then roll into 30 equally sized balls.

Step 4 pinchofnom.com Step 4 pinchofnom.com

Step 5

Place on an oven tray that has been sprayed with low calorie cooking spray and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 6

When the cauliflower is cooked, drain over a bowl to reserve the cooking liquid and place in a blender along with the cheese spread, half the grated Cheddar and the mustard powder.

Step 6 pinchofnom.com

Step 7

Blitz until smooth, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Add this bit by bit, until you reach the consistency of cheese sauce.

Step 7 pinchofnom.com

Step 8

Pour the sauce into a large mixing bowl and place to one side.

Step 8 pinchofnom.com

Step 9

Rinse your saucepan and cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water, according to the packet instructions – usually for between 9-12 minutes.

Step 10

When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the cheese sauce.

Step 10 pinchofnom.com

Step 11

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the sauce and meatballs. Stir well, and then transfer the mix to a large, ovenproof dish.

Step 11 pinchofnom.com

Step 12

Sprinkle on the remaining Cheddar and scatter the cherry tomatoes on top.

Step 12 pinchofnom.com

Step 13

Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden.

Step 14

Serve with a crisp mixed salad.

Cheesy Mac N Meatballs - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What could I serve with this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs?

This recipe really is a meal in itself, but if you wanted to serve it with an accompaniment, then a crisp, mixed salad or any of the following would work really well:

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How do you know when this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs is cooked?

You’ll need to cook your cauliflower for 10 minutes and then blitz until smooth so that you have a creamy cheese sauce.

Cook your pasta according to the pack instructions (usually 9-12 minutes) and your meatballs for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Finally, your Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs needs to bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese on top is crisp and golden.

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.

How long can you keep this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of Cheesy Mac ‘N Meatballs in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.

Can I freeze this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze in individual portions.
  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat this Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs?

From chilled: Reheat in the microwave until piping hot throughout.

From frozen: Defrost thoroughly and then as above.

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Cheesy Mac ‘n’ Meatballs

Packed full of hidden veg, this Cheesy Mac 'n' Meatballs recipe is slimming friendly - but you'd never guess!
  • Prep Time
    25 MINS
  • Cook Time
    50 MINS
  • KCals 397
  • Carbs 47G
  • WW Points:
  • 10 Green
  • 9 Blue
  • 9 Purple

Ingredients

  • 400 g 5% fat lean pork mince
  • 1 small courgette grated
  • 25 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 small egg
  • 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 chicken stockpot or stock cube
  • 90 g reduced fat cheese spread
  • 60 g reduced fat mature Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 300 g macaroni
  • 8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • low calorie cooking spray

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  1. Firstly make a start on the sauce. Spray the pan with low calorie cooking spray and sauté the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the cauliflower and the stockpot. Just cover with boiling water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until tender.
  2. While the cauliflower cooks, pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and make the meatballs.
  3. Wrap the grated courgette in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. You might be surprised at how much comes out.
  4. Place in a bowl along with the pork, breadcrumbs, egg, herbs and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands until well combined, then roll into 30 equally sized balls.
  5. Place on an oven tray that has been sprayed with low calorie cooking spray and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. When the cauliflower is cooked, drain over a bowl to reserve the cooking liquid and place in a blender along with the cheese spread, half the grated Cheddar and the mustard powder.
  7. Blitz until smooth, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Add this bit by bit, until you reach the consistency of cheese sauce.
  8. Pour the sauce into a large mixing bowl and place to one side.
  9. Rinse your saucepan and cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water, according to the packet instructions - usually for between 9-12 minutes.
  10. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the cheese sauce.
  11. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the sauce and meatballs. Stir well, and then transfer the mix to a large, ovenproof dish.
  12. Sprinkle on the remaining Cheddar and scatter the cherry tomatoes on top.
  13. Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden.
  14. Serve with a crisp mixed salad.

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4 comments

See what others have to say

CarolineMonday 9th November 2020

Hello! Keen to make this this weekend, but wanted to make it veggie. I’ve got some frozen quorn mince – any tips on making meatballs with it? Should I defrost it then make the meatballs or fry it then make the meatballs? (Sorry if these are silly questions) 😁

Reply

    HollyMonday 16th November 2020

    Hey Caroline, we aren’t sure you could use frozen Quorn and successfully to make the meatballs for this Cheesy Mac n Cheese. However you could try substituting for some vegetarian meatballs that can be found in most supermarkets some brands to look out for are Birds Eye Meat Free Swedish Style Balls, Quorn Meat Free Swedish Style Balls, Plant Pioneers Meat Free Meatballs or ASDA Plant Based Meat-Free Meatballs and you could then alter the calories accordingly. Hope that helps!

    Reply

Lindsey Prescott MearsFriday 30th October 2020

Really lovely, it will definitely become a firm favourite, but, when I put it through the WW recipe builder, it calculates as 10 not 9 on blue. Don’t know what I’ve done different as I followed the recipe exactly.

Reply

    HollyMonday 2nd November 2020

    Hey Lindsey, I’ve just had a look at this recipe and the nutritional information and points are correct on the page. Have a look HERE for our guide on how we work out all of the nutritional information for our recipes. Hope that helps!

    Reply

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