I am a self-proclaimed Macaroni & Cheese snob. I like my Macaroni cheesy & rich & super comforty. I am always reluctant to make a "healthy" version of Mac & Cheese because it never tastes as good, it doesn't satisfy my craving and ends up just being a disappointment. Well, I have to say, this recipe was pretty good...for being healthy. J happened to love it, but he is easier to please than me. I did accidentally buy the wrong type of cheese and so when Gina at Skinnytaste recommends a certain brand because it melts and tastes the best, I probably should have paid more attention. Oh well, guess I will just have to make it again!
Healthy Mac & Cheese Bake
Serves: 4-6 (Gina says 8, but that is just not enough food)
Cook time according to Gina: Yeah, nothing
Cook time according to Rachel: 35 mins
How difficult was this for Rachel to make? Easy!
12 oz elbow noodles
2 tbsp light butter (I prefer Smart Balance)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1/8 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
8 oz Sargento 2% reduced fat mild cheddar (yep, I bought fat free Kraft)
salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta in salted water & according to package directions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, melt butter. Once butter is melted, add flour and whisk in on low heat. Add milk & chicken broth while continue to whisk. Raise the heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes thick. Note: there will still be chunks of the flour/butter mix.
Once smooth and thick, remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until completely blended. Use salt & pepper to season.
Add noodles to cheese mix and stir through. In a greased 9x13 pan, pour in noodle & cheese mix. Top with bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.