Baked Mac & Cheese

Winter 2004, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (683 votes)

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.

"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...
Baked Mac & Cheese

67 Reviews for Baked Mac & Cheese

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!

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.

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!

good starting point to a really great comfort dish

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!

tastes like high calorie mac and cheese

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.

Creamy, cheesy

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