Baked Mac & Cheese Recipe

Looking for an easy Baked Mac & Cheese recipe? Learn how to make Baked Mac & Cheese using healthy ingredients.


Submitted by kristawagoner

Makes 4 servings



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.

Recipe Ingredients for Baked Mac & Cheese

3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
16 ounce or 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni, or penne

Recipe Directions for Baked Mac & Cheese

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

Categories

Main Dish

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 402.5g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
577
Calories from Fat
222
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
24.7g
38%
Saturated Fat
13.9g
70%
Trans Fat
0.0g
Cholesterol
111mg
37%
Sodium
937mg
39%
Potassium
734mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates
52.8g
18%
Dietary Fiber
4.7g
19%
Sugars
7.0g
Protein
37.7g
Vitamin A 292% Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 77% Iron 29%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.
Legend

Fat
Protein
Carbs
Alcohol
Other

Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

Health Information

Nutrition Grade
96% confidence
B
  Good points
  • High in calcium
  • High in phosphorus
  • Very high in vitamin A
  •   Bad points
  • High in saturated fat
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