Recipe

Mac and Cheese

Recipe Information

Total Time: 

1 hour 40 minutes; 30 minutes active

Servings: 

12

This healthy version of macaroni and cheese will delight kids and parents alike. The recipes serves 12, so it's great for a crowd, dinner for two or more nights or freeze half and reserve it for a busy weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds butternut squash (or subsitute sweet potatoes; see Tips & Notes)
  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 16 ounces low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 slice whole grain bread

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice squash in half and discard the seeds. Bake cut side down on baking sheet lined with parchment until soft, about one hour.
  2. Cook macaroni according to directions on the package.
  3. Pulse bread in food processor until coarse crumbs form. Reserve.
  4. Whisk flour in heavy pan to remove any lumps. Gradually add 1/4 cup cold milk. Heat the remaining 3/4 cups of milk in microwave. Add the hot milk and nutmeg. Whisk until smooth, over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Take off the heat. Whisk in beaten egg.
  5. When the squash has cooled, scoop out flesh and puree in food processor.
  6. Puree the cottage cheese in the food processor.
  7. Add the pureed cottage cheese, squash, cheddar cheese, Dijon, nutmeg, and cayenne to the white sauce. In a large bowl, combine sauce and macaroni, tossing to coat evenly.
  8. Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Pour macaroni and cheese into pan. Blend olive oil with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the macaroni. Bake until bubbling and brown (about 35 minutes).

Serving Suggestion

Serve with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables.

Tips & Notes

Substitute 2 lbs of baked sweet potatoes for butternut squash for a quicker and all-season version. Use just the flesh and discard the sweet potato skin, for a the smoothest cheese, or use the skin, too, for extra nutrition (it will be blended in the food processor).

Nutritional Information

246 calories, 6 g. fat, 28 mg. cholesterol, 264 mg. sodium, 35 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. fiber, 14 g. protein