Ditch the high levels of sodium and fat while still enjoying the creaminess of this tasty healthier mac and cheese recipe.
Unlike some recipes with more than 900 grams of sodium and nearly 50 grams of fat, this healthier mac and cheese recipe slashes sodium and fat, while adding in nutrition from butternut squash.
Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 8 servings
- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 pound uncooked cavatappi
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Combine squash, broth, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
- Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
Serving size: About 1 1/3 cup Calories: 390 Fat: 10.9 grams Saturated fat: 6.1 grams Unsaturated fat: 2.1 grams Carbohydrates: 53.9 grams Sodium: 589 milligrams Fiber: 3.2 grams Protein: 19.1 grams