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.
Baked Mac & Cheese
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.
66 Reviews for Baked Mac & Cheese
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!
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!
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.
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!