Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Truth be told when I found my true love of a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe, this classic macaroni and cheese, I assumed I was done. Done hunting and searching for *the one* of mac and cheese recipes. Lord knows I've tried many many varieties along the way! But... is there ever really a *the one* of macaroni and cheese? I mean really... can't our hearts love multiple macaroni and cheese recipes at one time? Some might say no... but I say yes.

In an effort to find a lighter version I tried this recipe and I was floored. It was perfect! It was healthier (win!), easy (win!), and full of flavor (win win win!!!). I added my own secret ingredient to the dish (don't worry... I'll share it with you below) and I really found this to just be the most perfect macaroni and cheese because nobody would ever know it was a lighter version. I have a tray of it in my freezer and I can't wait to make it again!

Source: Slightly adapted from Skinny Taste


12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat free chicken broth
8 oz Sargento 2% reduced fat mild cheddar
2 tbsp Frank's Buffalo sauce (my secret ingredient!)
salt and pepper
4 cups baby spinach
1/8 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

1-Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Spray a baking dish with buttered flavor Pam. Preheat oven to 375°.
2- In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring with a whisk. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
3- Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheese and buffalo sauce and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and baby spinach.Pour into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more buttered flavor Pam on top.
4- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.

1 comment:

  1. I made this last night and it got rave reviews all around!