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Updated Mac & Cheese

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
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Rating: 5   Reviews: 1 See Reviews
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Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  55 Minutes
  4 servings
Our mac-and-cheese makeover wins raves of approval, having all the comfort and great taste of its predecessors with a substantially more healthful profile. It uses whole-wheat pasta and includes a colorful layer of spinach. It's also a winner for make-ahead convenience.

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
3 tablespoons  plain dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon  extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon  paprika
1 16-ounce or 10-ounce package  frozen spinach
1 3/4 cups  1% milk, divided
3 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
2 cups  grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1 cup  low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon  salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper  to taste
8 ounces (2 cups)  whole-wheat elbow macaroni or penne
Updated Mac & Cheese Recipe at
Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain and refresh under cold water; 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.

Recipe reprinted by permission of © EatingWell Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
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Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   4 servings
Calories: 503
Fat. Total: 17g
Protein: 31g
Carbohydrates, Total: 59g
Fat, Saturated: 9g
Fiber: 8g
Cholesterol: 54mg
Sodium: 935mg
% Cal. from Fat: 30%
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 1 reviews »

Rating: 5
by: Patricia Reviewed: 11/15/2010
It's a Keeper
I adjusted the recipe by adding an additional 8 oz. of cheddar cheese, and fresh spinach. It was delicious
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