A lighter Mac N' Cheese

A lighter Mac N' Cheese
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Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 512.1
  • Total Fat: 15.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 37.2 mg
  • Sodium: 389.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 74.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g
  • Protein: 19.5 g

View full nutritional breakdown of A lighter Mac N' Cheese calories by ingredient
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Introduction

Being somewhat addicted to Macaroni and Cheese - a cheat mean, a treat meal, a food that I cannot say "no" to... I decided I needed a healthier version, hopefully a little lighter on the calories, but definitely more wholesome and amp'ed up nutrition. After reviewing a few recipes, I used a Cooking Light Recipe as an inspiration (see link: www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-m
akeovers/light-macaroni-cheese) and tweaked it to my own liking.
Being somewhat addicted to Macaroni and Cheese - a cheat mean, a treat meal, a food that I cannot say "no" to... I decided I needed a healthier version, hopefully a little lighter on the calories, but definitely more wholesome and amp'ed up nutrition. After reviewing a few recipes, I used a Cooking Light Recipe as an inspiration (see link: www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-m
akeovers/light-macaroni-cheese) and tweaked it to my own liking.

Number of Servings: 12

Ingredients

    3 cups roasted and pureed (cubed then roasted) (1 - 1 lb squash)
    12 oz Vegetable Broth
    8 oz (1 cup) Almond Milk (no-flavored)
    1 1/2 cup of leeks (sliced - half moons)
    1 cup of white wine
    1/2 cup sweet onion (diced)
    2 garlic cloves, peeled
    5 oz Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    1 1/2 cups of shredded 3 Cheese Blend (Asiago, Parmesan, Pecorino) (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
    4 oz. Brie (Rhine removed)
    2 lbs (boxes) Large Rigatoni
    1 tbsp Olive Oil
    1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    3 tbsp Butter (salted)
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp of Nutmeg
    3 tbsp of Flour

Tips

Add a little garlic powder and melted butter to the breadcrumbs for flavor.

Remove from oven and let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to avoid 3rd degree mouth burns


Directions

Prepare the squash: Peel and dice the butternut squash, toss with a little cooking spray (or olive oil), salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for about 45 to 1 hour. Remove from oven and tent with foil - allow to cool. Once cool puree the squash with a food processor, a blender or by hand.

The Mac: Boil your 2 boxes of pasta according the the directions - leave VERY al dente.

The Cheese: Similar to any cheese sauce or fondue - heat olive oil and butter over a moderate heat in a large pot or pan, add leaks and onions and cook until translucent and starting to caramelize. Add your flour and allow to cook for a few minutes and for the flour and fat to combine into a paste like consistency. In this order - stirring constantly add the Wine, stir, once it starts to thicken add the broth, stir... thickens... almond milk.
Add in the 1/4 tsp of Nutmeg. If you need more liquid - add more broth - virtually calorie-less. Add the 3 cups of pureed butternut squash, and stir to incorporate.

Last step - add the cheeses, allowing each one to melt before adding the next. Reserve some of the Italian cheese for the topping. Once all of the cheeses are combined into the sauce. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the pasta and pour the whole pot into a well sprayed or nonstick baking dish.

In a dry non-stick pan, toast the bread crumbs and combine with the finely chopped parsley. Top the filled baking dish with the reserved Italian cheese mix and then the breadcrumbs.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 for about 45 minutes, until toasty on top and bubbly around the edges.

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup (one heaping scoop of a large serving spoon)

Number of Servings: 12

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user S.INTHEBIGCITY.

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