How To: Make a Low-Calorie Creamy Cheesy Chicken Macaroni

Q: What could be better than chicken nuggets, cream sauce, pasta and cheese?

A: A delicious baked combo of all four that lacks calories but doesn’t skimp on flavor!

As a child, I would only eat something if it contained either a) chicken nuggets, b) pasta or c) cheese.

Now that I am much older, my palette has become much more sophisticated. I only eat raw fish, water and kale.

Okay, I’m just kidding.

I still crave a) chicken nuggets, b) pasta and c) cheese.

Unfortunately, when I started my diet, my favorite foods were out of reach. They seemed to be only a distant memory, floating among the clouds. I felt trapped in my routine of eating plain chicken breast every single day.

I’m being serious when I say that the day I discovered FiberGourmet pasta changed my life. It was as if I had received a gift from up above. The magical pasta can be purchased online in many popular shapes including rotini, spaghetti, fettuccine and elbow macaroni.

Although it tastes the exact same as your standard supermarket pasta, it has 70 less calories per cup. Somehow, the makers of FiberGourmet were able to put more fiber into their products, which ultimately takes calories out.

Ever since my discovery, I have made many of my own pasta inventions. No longer were the cream sauces and cheese out of reach.

This recipe combines my life-long favorite foods into a single low-calorie dish. It has quickly become one of my favorite creations. It has also become a favorite of the kids I babysit. They have no idea how low-calorie it is!


Start to finish: About 30 minutes

Servings: 2

  • 1 cup dry Fibergourmet Light Elbow macaroni
  • 4-5 sprays of butter spray
  • ¼ cup Great Value Classic Alfredo sauce or any other light alfredo sauce (45 calories or less per ¼ cup serving)
  • ¼ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 Tyson fully-cooked chicken nuggets
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • Stovetop pan and drainer (for cooking pasta)
  • Small oven-safe glass or metal pan

Image Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray the small oven-safe glass or metal baking pan with 4-5 sprays of the butter spray, making sure to coat the sides of the pan.

 Cook and drain 1 cup dry Fibergourmet Light Elbows according to package on stovetop.


 Carefully pour pasta into the oven-safe glass pan. Add the alfredo sauce and stir until mixed.


Top with chicken nuggets and shredded mozzarella cheese.


Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Add one tablespoon grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a smile!


 Nutritional information per serving: 325 calories.

Optional dessert: I like to wrap up this meal with another former “forbidden food” – a 110-calorie slice of Carrot cake, courtesy of Chicago-based online retailer Simply Scrumptous!


Downtown Quick-Service Food Swaps

Sometimes we don’t have all the time in the world to grab a bite to eat.  While there is practically a McDonald’s on every street corner in downtown Chicago, your options lay far beyond the deep-fried. Today, I’m going to explore a few of my favorite quick-service restaurants that offer healthier options.


Click HERE to see a closer map of all the restaurants listed below.

Instead of going to Chipotle —>Try Protein Bar

Craving a burrito (and NOT a salad bowl)? Try out Protein Bar’s signature Bar-ritos. Offering eight different options ranging from BBQ to Green City Vegan, all Bar-ritos are wrapped in a warm tortilla and under 700 calories.

At the corner of State Street & Lake Avenue.

Instead of going to Jimmy John’s —>Try Hannah’s Bretzel

With all gourmet sandwiches under 600 calories, Hannah’s Bretzel is worth a visit if you work in the Loop. The sandwich shop offers way more than the standard turkey club. Try something different with the apple thyme brie sandwich, featuring fresh organic apple crisps.

233 N. Michigan Ave., concourse level.

Instead of Epic Burger —>Try M Burger

In terms of calories, the epic battle between the two Chicago burger joints has been won by M Burger. You can now request your burger made “salad style” which replaces your bun with a lettuce wrap. This eliminates nearly 200 calories from your daily count. If this doesn’t sound delectable to you, I promise that you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you won’t miss the bun.

5 W. Ontario St.

Instead of Lou Malnati’s —>Try Uno Pizzeria & Grill

We Chicagoans love our deep dish pizza places, but they’re not exactly catering to the calorie-conscious. However, if you find yourself among a group of pizza lovers, it would be wise to suggest Uno. While (sadly) no one has invented a low-cal deep dish, Uno offers an array of options less than 500 calories, including baked pastas, chicken dishes, sandwiches and skinny drinks.

29 E. Ohio St.

Note: Many of the dining establishments listed offer additional locations in the Chicagoland area, so be sure to check each restaurant’s website for more information.