Cutting down on salt
doesn't mean you have
to cut out flavour.

The best way to cut down on your salt intake is to cook fresh! You’ll find below some easy recipes that are full of flavour and low in salt. They are also recipes that will store well and can be easily prepared at the beginning of the week, so you don’t have to reach for processed foods during the busy working week. Most of them are super simple so get the kids involved and cook up a storm!

Pumpkin and lentil macaroni & cheese

  • Sodium


  • Energy


  • Fat


  • Sat Fat


  • Sugar



  • 2 cups butternut pumpkin, diced into 3cm cubes
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups spinach leaves
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 600g no-added-salt lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 300g macaroni
  • 1¾ cup reduced fat milk
  • ½ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • ¾ cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped, to serve


Recipe from © National Heart Foundation of Australia 2018, reproduced with permission.


  1. Cook pumpkin in a saucepan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup liquid.
  2. While pumpkin is cooking, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add spinach and cook, stirring until wilted.
  3. Place pumpkin, onion, garlic, spinach, ½ cup reserved liquid, parsley and lentils into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  4. Cook macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling water, following packet instructions, until just tender. Drain well and return to the saucepan.
  5. While macaroni is cooking, add 1-cup milk to a separate saucepan and slowly heat over medium-low heat. Add plain flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining milk, and continue to heat on low for 4-5 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Remove saucepan from the heat and whisk in cheddar cheese and pepper, until cheese is melted.
  7. Pour the pureed pumpkin and cheese sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated. Serve immediately with chopped parsley.


Serves: 4