Prep 15 mins
Cook 23 mins
This is a recipe from The Food Network's nutritionist, Elie Krieger. It is so delicious and much, MUCH better for you than regular macaroni and cheese. She used 2 oz of Monterey Jack cheese and 4 oz of cheddar, but I had better results using all cheddar, since it is more flavorful. I also use whole-wheat macaroni for more healthy grains.
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 20 ounces winter squash (the frozen kind, pureed)
- 2 cups skim milk
- 6 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1⁄2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Drain the macaroni and transfer to a large bowl.
- Place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until defrosted.
- Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cheeses (except the parmesan), salt, mustard, and cayenne pepper.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine.
- Transfer macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.
- Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, and oil in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, and broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.
The flavor of this was actualy spot-on, it tasted like "real" mac and cheese which surprised me given the squash! However, the texture was a bit off - I'm not sure if it was the ricotta or the squash, but it was rather lumpy. I prefer a smoother, creamier mac and cheese. My boyfriend liked it, and didn't even know it was a healthy version until I told him!