Mac & cheese can be a true comfort on a gloomy day, and our healthy update takes advantage of extra-sharp Cheddar balanced with creamy low-fat cottage cheese and tucks a layer of spinach into the middle, which may help picky eaters down their vegetables. Whole-wheat pasta adds robust flavor and extra fiber.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

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  • Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.

  • Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

  • Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.

  • Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, then bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh crumbs. For dry breadcrumbs, spread the fresh crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until crispy, about 15 minutes. One slice of fresh bread makes about 1/3 cup dry crumbs. Or use prepared coarse dry breadcrumbs. We like Ian's brand labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets.

Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition Facts

584 calories; protein 37.8g 76% DV; carbohydrates 59.8g 19% DV; exchange other carbs 4; dietary fiber 8.8g 35% DV; sugars 9g; fat 23.9g 37% DV; saturated fat 12.5g 63% DV; cholesterol 65.3mg 22% DV; vitamin a iu 14547IU 291% DV; vitamin c 2.5mg 4% DV; folate 192.6mcg 48% DV; calcium 750mg 75% DV; iron 4.4mg 25% DV; magnesium 171.6mg 61% DV; potassium 675.5mg 19% DV; sodium 906.7mg 36% DV; thiamin 0.4mg 36% DV.

Reviews (72)

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73 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 45
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 4 stars
01/26/2019
This was delicious but I did make changes. Used Macaroni made from chickpeas low fat Cabot cheese and subbed fat free sour cream for cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is where most of the sodium comes from in this recipe. Look for no salt added Cottage cheese if you prefer it's out there. Also used almond milk instead of cow's milk it cuts the fat and calories and ups the fiber and protein. also saw the recipe looked a little bland so added some garlic powder to the sauce. Delicious!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
11/12/2017
I use mushrooms and leave out the spinach. It adds more flavor. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
11/06/2017
I will be honest in saying that I did not make this dish. It sounds delicious but I always check the nutrition information before making dishes. Sometimes I can make them work but I am not sure how you think this is a healthy dish when the sodium mg for a serving is 907 That is more than half my daily number. I love your magazine and subscribe and also give it as a gift but it seems that the sodium content is not necessarily considered when calling a dish healthy. I hope you can reevaluate some of your recipes Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/02/2017
I doubled the recipe in its entirety and quadrupled the breadcrumbs. I also included roasted cauliflower some mashed sweet potato for color about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast for more cheesy zing and a generous dollop of hot sauce. After tasting it my husband pronounced it "A winner!". Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/02/2017
I followed the recipe. And we all loved it! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
09/21/2015
English version. I've always made mac & cheese from scratch but instead in the sauce I use a low fat cream cheese and hard boiled eggs instead of spinach. Nether do I put a topping unless we have company. It tastes just as good without the topping. Pros: Quick easy but SO tasty. Cons: Always want too much of it. Read More
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Rating: 1 stars
06/11/2015
how is 22 grams of fat healthy?! I may try this with low fat cheddar. As is I don't see how anyone can consider this healthy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/24/2015
Sooo good adults and kids alike rave! Changed only slightly... I've been making this for years and my kids and husband love it. I change a few things to make it easier AND bigger servings: use Italian Breadcrumbs (so you don't have to use the other seasonings listed for the breadcrumb mixture); double---or even triple--the breadcrumb amount. Use 3 cups of pasta instead of 2 cups. And I use a whole 16 oz bag of frozen chopped spinach. I also love that I can make this ahead in the morning/night before and it's ready for the oven whenever! Pros: Easy to make yet good enough for company! Cons: Probably not as healthy as you think but oh well! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/24/2014
Not Heart Healthy Just what is so healthy about this recipe? It has over 900mg of sodium per serving almost half of your RDA! No thanks. Pros: None Cons: Way too much sodium Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/31/2013
Never eat boxed again A friend ended up in the hospital over Christmas and I wanted to make sure his fiancee was eating well. I made a double batch of this and brought them one of the casseroles. She was SO grateful and wanted the recipe. I happily shared. It may be more effort than the boxed version but thre is absoluely no comparison! It was sooo tasty. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/27/2013
Yuummm This was so yummy. It was pretty quick and easy to make too. I followed the recipe exactly but also threw in some diced onions I had on hand into the sauce. The onion definitely added some good flavor to it and I suggest adding if you like onions. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
08/21/2013
I thought this recipe was pretty good. I've made it twice now once with the layer of spinach and another time with chopped fresh broccoli. I think I prefer the broccoli. I also added more breadcrumb topping because that it one of my favorite components of homemade mac and cheese. Overall it was pretty decent but I agree that it was a little on the bland side. I will probably try the onion idea of the other reviewer. It was decent enough though that I will make it again even though my husband did not care much for it. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/07/2013
secret ingredient for mac and cheese! I've got mine in the oven baking right now so I haven't actually tried it yet. I did of course taste the sauce and I like what i'm tasting so far. I just wanted to throw in a tip to all of you that say that it tastes bland. I usually make another much more fattening mac and cheese (trying this recipe to eat lighter these days) and my secret ingredient that adds so much flavor is nothing more than half of an onion very finely chopped and sauteed in olive oil. If you chop it very finely no one will no it has onion in it unless you tell them. You really can't believe the amount of flavor that it adds to the dish. Every time I make mac and cheese people want to know what I put in it and when I say onion everyones reaction is a very shocked really???. Just a little tip for those of you wanting to add a bit more flavor to this dish. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
03/17/2013
Baked Mac & cheese I make this recipe last night and it turned out awesome. I put in colby-jack cheese (low fat) instead. You can microwave the pasta in a large bowl with water to save some time. You can also mix the spinach in the pasta mixture. Pros: Tastes great Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/24/2013
Satisfied my comfort food craving I made this Mac & Cheese last night to satisfy a winter comfort food craving. I read the reviews ahead of time. For those that found it bland perhaps you didn't use good sharp cheddar cheese? I used good quality 5 year old cheddar and I thought the taste was great. Next time I'd like to try adding Gruyere cheese for more depth of flavour. I doubled the bread crumb crust because it didn't seem to cover the dish enough otherwise. I also used a fresh bag of spinach instead of frozen. I added a touch of salt while eating. So for those that found it bland try good 5 year cheddar add gruyere maybe and a touch more salt... some suggested garlic salt... I'd like to try that too. Lots of comments mention the fat content as well... Well it's definitely an improvement on the traditional recipe. Using low fat cottage cheese worked really nicely. And low fat milk instead of cream - seemed to work just fine. I will make this again! Pros: Delicious and easy Cons: High fat but an improvement on traditional recipes Read More
Rating: 1 stars
01/11/2013
Bland I would have thought with that much cheese that it would have tasted cheesy but there was no real flavor to this dish. I appreciate the fact that it is healthy but will not make it again. Cons: No flavor Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/12/2012
Adjust to taste/delicious:) I made this and like most would with a few mods based on what I had on hand. I had made a portobello lasagna so I used the same mixture with a little lemon and herb but with ricotta to use it up and half jack cheese since I had shredded it yesterday. I also added sundried tomato pesto to the noodles for a twist. It turned out fabulous! Thank you very much! This will be made again:D Pros: Easy/Comfort Cons: A little more tweak to taste but its a great template:) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/05/2012
Made Changes But Good Overall! Will Make Again! I made a few exchanges (1TB cornstarch for one of the tablespoon's flour; topped with more cheese vs. breadcrumbs added fresh vs. frozen spinach added soy meat crumbles for more protein used soy milk vs. regular milk (that's all I had available) and added garlic powder and more salt for more flavor). GREAT base for this recipe I will keep this one to make again!! Pros: Fairly easy common ingredients easy substitutions Cons: High in calories Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/25/2012
Good with help. It was good left out the breadcrumb topping used more cheddar and next time omitting cottage cheese and spinach and adding more cheddar. Also added some more salt pepper and garlic powder which is what I added when I ate it for more flavor. Was good as is just changed a little for our taste. Pros: Godd starter recipe. Cons: Healthy? Breadcrumbs cottage cheese and spinach. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
10/11/2012
Very bland This turned out to be extremely bland. Followed ingredients/instructions exactly. Will not make this again. Cons: Bland flavorless Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2012
LOVE! My husband LOVES food so I was a little leery of this 'healthified' dish. My husband said he'd try it. I baked it one night and he LOVED it! He asks me to make it constantly! My 18 month old son who is the pickiest eater on the planet loved it too!! Finally a meal the whole family can eat! PS I don't use the spinach because the first time I made it I didn't have spinach but my husband still raved about it so I've continued to make it without. I also didn't have nutmeg so I left that out too. Pros: Yummy great alternative to this southern dish Cons: none Read More
Rating: 3 stars
09/02/2012
Smooth creamy I made this for dinner and would definitely recommend it! The only thing I would change is using fresh spinach instead of frozen. Great use of cottage cheese. Pros: easy to make delicious Read More
Rating: 1 stars
08/25/2012
22grams of fat is not a low fat recipe Read More
Rating: 1 stars
07/05/2012
Healthy? I looked up this recipe to see if I wanted to make it but I think I'll pass. 22 grams of fat and 11 of them saturated? I don't think so. I can buy the Kraft whole grain mac and cheese use a can of tuna in place of the milk and butter and have way less fat calories. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
06/12/2012
While I have yet to make this I do not see the healthy in it. I am not a supporter of processed foods by any means but there is less fat and calories in a serving of Kraft Mac and Cheese. So beside added fiber and veggies how is this healthier? Pros: Not processed easy to make Cons: not very healthy Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/01/2012
Really Good This was a great recipe but the next time I make it I will adjust it slightly. The kids (and even me and my husband) didn't care too much for the spinach and the nutmeg made it a bit too sweet for our liking. I think by using brocolli next time and less (if any) nutmeg will make this a 'perfect' recipe in our books! Pros: Easy to make tastes good Cons: Wouldn't use spinach or as much nutmeg next time Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2012
My Husband Loved It! I was a bit worried how it would turn out with the spinach but we both loved the flavor it added. For once - the only words coming out of my husbands mouth were: This is great! and Is there more? Pros: Easy quick Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2012
Delicious! This is especially good using hot paprika and adding 1/2 tsp truffle oil. I made the version of the recipe included in the The Essential EatingWell Cookbook and there were two differences: The cookbook specifies that 2 cups of cheese should be 6 oz and it calls for 1/2 tsp of salt instead of 1/4. The stats listed in the book are 503 calories 935mg of sodium 17g of fat (9g saturated) 60g carbs (8g fiber) and 31g protein. The stats in the web version seem consistent with using 8oz cheese instead of 6oz. Pros: Satisfying tasty Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/25/2012
Hit with my picky husband This was a great hit with my otherwise picky husband. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen since that is what I had on hand and colby cheese instead of cheddar. It made the final product a little bit more runny than expected but husband said it was great. I also used extra cheese on the top instead of bread crumbs and it turned out amazing. Pros: Great taste fairly easy to make Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2011
Delicious and easy! This is a super-easy mac and cheese recipe that the whole family will love! Tasty light and healthy. What more could you want in your baked mac & cheese? Pros: Tasty light healthy Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
This mac and cheese recipe is the BEST. I like to do it with a layer of peas instead of the spinach. 'Anonymous Weehawken NJ Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
This was really good. I didn't add the spinach but I added a little dry mustard to the flour and 1/4c. milk to make it more like the full fat recipe that I love. Will definitely make this again! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
I love the combination of spinach and cheese. It's great to have a healthy update of our family's favorite dinner. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
This is pretty good considering its a healthier option nice and creamy and cheesy enough. Two changes I would make when I make it again would be to leave out the nutmeg (kinda weird) and leave off the breadcrumbs (not really necessary) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
It was good but next time I'll do it without the nutmeg. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
We LOVE this recipe. It has become our family's staple mac n cheese. I cut even more calories by using fat free milk and cottage cheese as well as 2% milk sharp cheddar. Still delish. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I made this with gluten-free pasta and lowfat cheeses. My family loved it!!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This was very very good. I have since brought it to 2 potlucks. I timed it to be done and I cooked it in a clay baking dish and it remained very warm. It is really too much for a 2 quart dish. I went back and calculated the amounts from the ingredients and it is at least 9 cups of "stuff" once you include the spinach and cheese. I doubted the error and when I made a quadruple batch in a baker that is at least 8 quarts I needed to use a second dish for the extras. I now make it in an oblong casserole that is larger than 2 quarts or I double it and make it in my larger clay baking dish. I always use yellow mustard and worcestershire sauce in my mac & cheese and I did in this one and it turns out well. I also use some Old Bay in the topping along with the paprika. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I just made this last night from and old copy of EW. Kids (3 and 5 yr olds) loved it and it's easy so it gets 5 stars from me. I only put spinach on half of it. Will definitely be making this again - my kids told me it's better then the boxed stuff. Oh - one change because I didn't have whole wheat pasta - I just used regular elbow macaroni. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe was a big hit at our house I love how easy it is and my husband and toddler both wolfed it down. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This is absolutely delicious! Kavi Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I loved this dish. Definately use sharp cheddar cheese. I used the reduced fat version. I also used wheat flour since I didn't have whole wheat noodles on hand just regular ones... I am definately making it again. Instead of doing a layer of spinach I mixed it in the mac. I needed to ensure my 3-year-old did not have an easy time trying to pick it out. It worked. She ate it.:) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Loved it! My girlfriend was extremely skeptical but said she thought it was amazing and that we should make it again using all whole-wheat noodles next time. Didn't use the nutmeg and used half part-skim mozzerella and half cheddar. Did a mix of whole wheat and regular rotini and a full 16 oz bag of spinach which she thought was a little much and I loved. Next time all whole-wheat pasta and I'll smash a clove or two and sautee that before starting the sauce. Minneapolis MN Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
If you don't want to put a vegetable into the dish add 1/4 cup of chicken broth or 1/4 cup of the juices from a can of collard greens string beans or any other green vegetable you prefer. Very delicious. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This was unbelievably good! Since I'm a cheese lover I put a layer of grated cheddar cheese on top of the spinach layer. I left off the bread crumbs and oil (saved calories there) and topped it off with another thin layer of cheddar cheese. Yummy! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Tasty but the preponderance of spinach while adding plenty of good nutrition gave the dish a mushy texture (and I did squeeze most of the moisture out of the spinach). I might try making the dish again with less than the 16 ounces of spinach I put in this time. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We did this as a science project to show that eating more nutritiously doesn't cost more. I would like to point out that the addition of cottage cheese really increases the protein value compared to other prepared or even scratch mac & cheese recipes. The spinach adds fiber and vitamins and the whole wheat pasta adds fiber as well. But this one scored the very highest by a long stretch in protein. And it also tastes really good! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I am planning to try this recipe as it looks good; however I will have to find ways to lower the fat content such as using low-fat cheese and perhaps even non-fat cottage cheese! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Really yummy recipe. Will definitely bake again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe is great! I did add some pieces of ham at my boyfriend's request which added some more flavor as well as some goat cheese into the mix. I would recommend leaving off the breadcrumbs if there's gonna be left overs because they get mushy in the fridge. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Great recipe! I made a "Mexican" version adding mashed kidney beans chopped jalapenos tomatoes and avocado and a bit of plain yogurt to the spinach (only used 1/4 cup spinach). Delicious! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Great recipe! I put two 10 oz. packages of spinach and I always vary the cheese to use whatever I have on hand. It works with either elbow or penne macaroni. I tend to mix it up partially when it's in the pan so each bite has spinach macaroni and cheese. While I wouldn't call this "healthy" it is delicious and a great way to get everyone to eat spinach. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Pretty tasty but I'd add a mix of cheeses next time along with a bit less spinach and a bit more pasta so it's a bit thicker. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Very bland. This recipe needs a lot of modifications to be tasty. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
pretty good and fast way to make mac and cheese. To lower calorie count I omitted the paprika EVOO and breadcrumbs. I also combined three different cheeses (pepperjack gruyere and sharp cheddar) to add some flavor. I'd suggest sauteing the spinach with garlic and other spices b/c when i took bites of the spinach it was bland. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I really enjoyed it I didn't use nutmeg or spinach and just cut up a head of broccoli into little pieces and stirred it right into the sauce. It turned out really good!! And also the oil can be left out of the breadcrumb step its not necessary for the recipe. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
My boyfriend & I made this for the first meal we ever cooked together - & it was awesome! We mixed the spinach in with the pasta as some commenters suggested but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. We also added a bit of chili powder for extra flavor & sprinkled some extra cheese on top before adding the bread crumbs. We were really happy with it & we have plenty left over for lunch! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This was an awesome recipe! I used brown rice elbow noodles and then I also used fat-free cottage cheese. I followed the recipe exactly how it is but like others I mixed the spinach in with the cheese and noodles. I also spinkled a little more cheese on top. So yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Wow gotta say in 14 yrs of marriage this is the first time my husband mac & cheese afficionado liked homemade however unlike my usual creedo I did tweak a bit. I pretty much used this recipe as a basic & made only slight changes - NO SPINACH being the biggest one!! Neither of us like it cooked. I did have Ians WW crumbs but instead used a quarter cup/1 tablespoon evoo Pepperjack cheese instead of Cheddar Dreamfields elbows and added 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Not big time deviations. This was so good a recipe that it's the only mac & cheese we will eat going forward. I teamed it with Apricot Glazed Chicken from Epicurious.com and we were in soul food heaven......on this blizzarding Buffalo New York day. So good and so easy to make! Thanks EW! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This was delicious!! This dish was delicious!! My whole family loved it. I fixed it as a main dish for us and the meat eaters in the house didn't even mind that there was no meat with dinner. We are a family of 5 and this made plenty for us. Sadly there are no leftovers though. Great dish and one that I will be making regularly. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Love it! But more cheese. When I met my boyfriend he was eating boxed mac and cheese almost every day. So I made this as a tribute to his previous bachelor-style eating habits. He loved it! I let him choose what veg to put in so we used peas instead of spinach. We'll be making this again but more cheese next time and we might even add some ground venison. Pros: easy cheap delicious Read More
Rating: 3 stars
10/29/2011
Has potential This was kind of bland (and I tweaked a bit based on other reviewers). But I think the concept is there and has great potential to be amazing! I also only had fresh spinach so I wilted in a pan. After discussing with my boyfriend we decided next time that I will: Try using a blend of different cheeses (ie Italian blend) adding a can of diced tomatoes (cook with spinach) adding some additional spices (garlic salt etc.) Make sure you salt and add spices!! This will be a dish I'll make again and will play around with to get just right! Pros: easy Cons: bland Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Amazing! O. M. G. Best mac and cheese ever. I omitted the spinach and I used half shredded mozzarella and half shredded cheddar since that's all I had. I added a few good shakes of garlic powder and some Mrs. Dash. I also used panko bread crumbs and whole wheat rotini. Seriously it was DELICIOUS. My picky fiance and pickier 14-year-old brother both raved over it. Next time I think I'll double the recipe cause it was gobbled up fast! I also would like to try it with a broccoli layer. Pros: Creamy cheesy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Fabulous! This was a GREAT basic recipe! However I did some tweaking. The nutmeg seemed like an odd choice with cheddar so I used the spices from my favorite unhealthy mac and cheese recipe: 1 tsp dry mustard 1/8 tsp white pepper 1/4 tsp salt. Cheese is pretty salty so I didn't increase the salt at all. Also I hate frozen spinach so I sauteed some fresh in a pan with 1 tsp minced garlic and a little olive oil. I will either double the spinach next time or just serve it on the side since there wasn't nearly enough of it. I also made this with Northwoods Lifetime Sharp Cheddar. Fat free melts like a dream and is only 40 calories a serving. I wasn't at all certain about cooking the elbows for a mere 4 minutes (I don't like hard pasta!) but it worked perfectly! The cheese sauce boils the pasta in the dish while it bakes and the texture is superb! With the cooking tip for the pasta I'd say this is even BETTER than my favorite high-fat recipe! Pros: tastes like high calorie mac and cheese Cons: Not enough spinach odd spice choice Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Delicious...with some tweaks! I read some of the comments before I made this to get an idea of what people did to make it their own. This is what I did. The spices I used were a little salt fresh ground pepper garlic powder. I included more cheese and a variety when melting into the hot milk. I added 3 wedges of swiss laughing cow 1/4 cup shredded parm. I used 2% sharp cheddar for the shredded. I also thought afterwards that I could have used light cream cheese and added a tad more shredded cheddar to make a tad creamier. added a can of diced tomatoes (no added salt tomatoes) with the sauteed spinach as the layer between the mac. added 2 tsp of oil with the panko to make sure it would evenly brown as well as mixed with another 1/4 cup of parm. My mom who is a mac and cheese fiend and also not a fan of whole wheat anything absolutely loved this. She did say that she wished it was a little creamier so will add more milk and more cheese next time. And also some sauteed onions with the spinach and tomatoes. For those weight watcher people this is only 5.5 points plus per cup! Pros: good starting point to a really great comfort dish Cons: odd spice combo Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Great "lightened" version of Mac and Cheese This is a great recipe. I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9x13 " pan which worked well. My only changes were to use a cheddar and sharp cheddar combo and to use half whole wheat noodles and half regular because I had them on hand. It is not a rich intense mac and cheese but I don't think that's the intention. Its kind of refreshing to not feel like your heart is going to stop shortly after finishing your meal. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Great with tweaks I read the reviews and altered the recipe at some others' suggestions: - added 1 onion (diced and browned in a fry pan) and 1 can of italian seasoned diced tomatoes to squeeze in more veggies - mixed everything together instead of layering - no bread crumbs (just making it for me to eat over a few days so thanks to whoever mentioned they would get soggy!); added a thin layer of cheese on top instead - used low-fat bag mix of asiago/parm/mozzarella/etc It's really delicious and reheats well (about 2 min in the microwave)!! I think next time I would add more seasoning - more garlic (I added some) more salt maybe some thyme... but in general it's really great so just perfecting! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Made with Blue Cheese and Apples I love making mac 'n cheese...but for this version I wanted to get in some fresh apples. Apples and blue cheese go really well together...so why not? I made my version Blue Cheese Mac 'n Cheese http://tiny.cc/82ip8 and topped with freshly chopped apple. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Healthy creamy dishes do exist! I just wanted to comment and say that I use Skim Milk for all my mac & cheese dishes. It gets just as thick it does take a little longer. It is worth it to me because it is even less in fat. I make my own bechamel sauce with the Skim Milk and add the low fat cheese. Works great for me! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
very good...left out some stuff This was very good. I was very pleased with the result. I left out the bread crumbs because I felt they were unnecessary. I also used fat free cottage cheese and 1 3/4 cup extra sharp cheddar and 1/4 monterey jack. 10 oz. of frozen spinach did the trick 16 oz. probably would have been too much. I did use the nutmeg (most people didn't) and could not tell that it was in there...next time i think i will take out a little of the spinach and add some brocolli.. just to see what its like Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Delish! This recipe was great! I used whole wheat shells instead of elbow/penne. Another change I made was to use 3/4 cup cottage cheese and 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese. It gave it a great richness and creaminess and wasn't overwhelming in terms of flavor. Finally I baked some sliced tomatoes into the top and sprinkled the bread crumbs on/around them. The spinach seemed a bit overkill. Next time I will use half and add some broccoli. I used the nutmeg and did not mind it. I may add more paprika next time to give it a bit more of a kick! Pros: easy crowd-pleaser leftovers Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
great low-fat M&C alternative Found this to be a wonderfully cheesy dish. I used peas instead of spinach--a throwback to my childhood--and it worked great. Also added salt and pepper which it seemed to need based on prior reviews and thinking about the recipe. Read More