Caprese Mac and Cheese

Cooking Light
Caprese Mac and Cheese
Photo: Randy Mayor; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley; Prop Styling: Lindsay Lower
The classic Italian salad gets a kick of creamy comfort in this deliciously light hybrid recipe.
Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups)


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2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 ounces uncooked penne
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1.5 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons panko
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Small basil leaves (optional)


1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Combine tomatoes and 2 teaspoons oil on a jellyroll pan. Broil 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.

3. Cook pasta in a large saucepan according to package directions, omit­ting salt and fat. Drain. Return pasta to pan.

4. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add ­remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Add milk, salt, and black pepper, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a simmer; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir in cheeses. Add cheese mixture to pasta; toss. Stir in tomato mixture and torn basil. Spoon pasta mixture into 4 (6-ounce) gratin dishes coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle panko and red pepper over pasta mixture. Broil 2 minutes or until panko is browned. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.

Created date

July 2014

Nutritional Information

Calories 391
Fat 13.9 g
Satfat 5.7 g
Monofat 5.5 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 21 g
Carbohydrate 46 g
Fiber 3 g
Cholesterol 26 mg
Iron 2 mg
Sodium 603 mg
Calcium 436 mg