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Lighten Up: A Healthy Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Macaroni and cheese is a comfort-food favorite. You'll love our recipe, which is low in fat and calories.

Mac and Cheese Lite

Makes: 4 servings

Nonstick cooking spray
4 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1/2 cup onion-garlic puree (see "Rocco's Secret Weapon," below)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mist an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set it aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions, drain.
  3. Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle panko over the top. Top with Parmesan.
  5. Bake until Parmesan is melted and macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving (about 2/3 cup): 237 calories, 17g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 7g fat (4g saturated), 3g fiber

Healthy Cooking Tips

Flour Power: Whole wheat macaroni keeps you satisfied longer, says award-winning chef Rocco DiSpirito.

Better Cheddar: Low-fat cheese can still be ooey-gooey and delicious. Try Cabot's 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar.

Crunch Time: Panko is the perfect topping. "These Japanese bread crumbs stay crispy, no matter what," DiSpirito says.

Culture Club: Nonfat Greek yogurt gives the rich, creamy texture of butter and cream minus the fat.

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What do you think? Review this story!
Kremyy wrote:

I'am always using 20grams of coconut butter,whole wheat flour,onions and ricemilk to make a sauce.And low fat mozzarella,it's really gooey..:) It's healthy and really delicious.

12/20/2013 12:24:26 PM Report Abuse
JOHNNETC2 wrote:

I am known among family and friends to make the best home-made mac and cheese. I use my Nana's recipe. Today I substituted the butter, milk/cream/buttermilk & flour for the yogurt and the onion/garlic puree. It tastes fantastic! Only one complaint or suggestion - leave the salt out all together - it's not necessary because the cheese is salty enough. If you have already adjusted to a low sodium diet, it will taste too salty. Great recipe!

11/4/2012 01:56:15 PM Report Abuse
johannabb wrote:

not a fan. i'm sure there are delicious recipes for a healthy mac and cheese, but this is definitely NOT one of them!!

1/10/2012 12:30:33 AM Report Abuse
dymyd2926911 wrote:

Extremely addictive and tasty - easy to make. The key is to make about 3 times the amount of macaroni suggested, or you will end up with gobs of cheese sauce and very little mac. Also, I used Stonyfield Farms Oikos Greek yogurt, which I added at the very end after the heat was off on the burner. Also, I found that a pie dish works just as well as an 8x8 - I was pretty liberal with the panko crumbs and parm.

11/28/2010 06:02:55 PM Report Abuse
sal86 wrote:

I liked it but my cheese was gooey and clumped together, it didn't melt well.

10/25/2010 08:50:56 PM Report Abuse

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