Thursday, November 17, 2011

Creamy, Light, Macaroni and Cheese

If there was ever a dish that could be defined as one of the most over-the-edge sinfully delicious meals of all time, Macaroni and Cheese just might be it. It's an absolute blessing from heaven to the pasta and cheese lovers, and I am always on the lookout for fun ways to make it.

This is something I made before I started the Livefit program, but the good news is that it's still light and packed with nutrients. It reminded me a lot of Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious' concept. The majority of the "cheese" was sweet, creamy butternut squash, and the kids were none the wiser. We all gobbled up our mac and cheese and were delightfully satisfied.

Creamy, Light, Macaroni and Cheese
Cooking Light September 2011


* 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
* 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
* 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
* 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
* 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
* 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
* 1 pound uncooked cavatappi
* Cooking spray
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.

6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.


Erica said...

Reminds me a bit of Ellie Krieger's recipe too! The greek yogurt is a fun add in! Good stuff

Reeni said...

This is positively dreamy! I love the butternut and gruyere combination!

Julie said...

Ha...great minds think alike. I love the breadcrumb topping :)

Debbie said...

Love the different kinds of cheese in this dish!

The Blonde Duck said...

I've been looking for a healthier mac and cheese--with my tummy, I can't do the velvet style thats popular down here and since we do more clean eating, it's hard to justify! This looks wonderful!

Dining Alone said...

what a great alternative to the sinful version :)

Barbara Bakes said...

I need to start adding more veggies to our meals. This would be a great recipe to start with.

Chris said...

I could tell there was butternut squash from the very first picture. A year ago I would have said, YUK but I tried butternut and found I actually like it. Great but light dish, Teresa.

Barbara said...

This is a far cry from that hideously fattening mac and cheese I made for one of the 50 game changers!
And it looks every bit as good, too. Anything to make mac and cheese healthier is a good thing, Teresa!

Lissy Gray said...

Looks yummy!

Alyssa and Rona said...

I love the idea of sneaking a vegetable into mac&cheese. It looks so delicious!


I am a new follower and I would love it if you stopped by my blog some time:

Joanne said...

I love putting veggies in my mac and cheese! This sounds like a dreamy combination.

The Blonde Duck said...


Heather Schmitt-González said...

I think it's hard not to love mac and cheese in any (homemade) form! Deceptively YUM!

Pam said...

Yum! What a healthy yet flavorful take on mac & cheese. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

amazing post.

http:// Good food and drinks of our world
http:// Wonder of my world
http:// Physical exercise blogspot

Victor said...

That's quite a lot of good cheese. I never tried greek yoghurt, sounds good.

Burp and Slurp~! said...

Yummmm that looks amazing. Butternut squash? Awesome. I've made kabocha mac and cheese before and I loved the natural sweetness it brings.

Anonymous said...

so so so nice i like this a lot. you are too good man.

http:// Good food and drinks of our world
http:// Wonder of my world
http:// Physical exercise blogspot

smith said...

Really Nice and healthy recipe. I read this post and my mouth can't wait to eat this item. I am very exiting.