Mac and cheese out of a box isn’t normally considered a nutritional standout, but when you gussy up a homemade microwave version with whole grain pasta, protein-packed tuna, and an assortment of vegetables, you have yourself a dish that won’t leave you second-guessing each bite. Ricotta cheese adds creamy richness, not to mention a healthy dose of muscle-building whey protein. This recipe provides 4 servings, so nuke it again the next day for a killer lunch. 


  • 2 cups whole-grain macaroni pasta
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 5-oz cans albacore tuna, flaked
  • ⅔ cup 2% milk
  • 1 ½ cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp dried red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. Place macaroni, salt, and 2 cups water in a large microwave-safe container or bowl. Microwave on high, uncovered, in 2-minute intervals, stirring between each interval, until pasta is tender (about 8 minutes total).
  2. Drain any excess water if needed.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and microwave on high in 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until cheese has melted and everything is warmed through.
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