1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded 1.5% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
1 (8-oz.) package chopped smoked ham
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cellentani pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda cheese, next 3 ingredients, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in ham and pasta.
Pour pasta mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir together crushed cereal, 1 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Note: We tested with Barilla Cellentani pasta and Cabot 5% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
More Mac and Cheese, Please!
Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 5% reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Omit ground red pepper, if desired. Stir 1 (5-oz.) can chopped green chiles into pasta mixture.
Per serving (baked with topping): Calories 456; Fat 7g (sat 6g, mono 2g, poly 2g); Protein 6g; Carb 9g; Fiber 6g; Chol 44mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 883mg; Calc 270mg
Sweet Pea-and-Prosciutto Macaroni and Cheese: Omit ham. Saute 2 oz. thin prosciutto slices, cut into thin strips, in a small skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Stir prosciutto and 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed, into pasta mixture.
Per serving (baked with topping): Calories 449; Fat 2g (sat 6g, mono 3g, poly 3g); Protein 9g; Carb 6g; Fiber 9g; Chol 39mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 688mg; Calc 402mg
Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Stir 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained, into pasta mixture.
Per serving (baked with topping): Calories 440; Fat 5g (sat 8g, mono 2g, poly 2g); Protein 4g; Carb 8g; Fiber 4g; Chol 40mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 817mg; Calc 400mg
Ham-and-Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese: Stir 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and coarsely chopped, into pasta mixture.
Per serving (baked with topping): Calories 459; Fat 1g (sat 8g, mono 3g, poly 3g); Protein 27g; Carb 7g; Fiber 5g; Chol 48mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 850mg; Calc 402mg
Everyone ate it but no one raved, we all thought it needed something else as we all thought it was too bland. I was glad to see others thought the same thing. If I made it again I'd add some onions or minced garlic to the butter prior adding the flour and more seasoning. I also think broccoli or other veggies would be great it in as well. And we did like the smoked gouda in it, perhaps a bit more of the sharp cheddar though. Our texture did come out nice and creamy& even the grandchildren ages four and ten cleaned their plates.
Rather bland. Maybe swap the Gouda and Cheddar amounts, I even had Extra Sharp. Added a dash of dry mustard and it still lacked taste, maybe it needed more salt. I did not add the ham, possibly the reason it tasted like it needed salt.
horrible!!! it were so dry and tastless!!!! they make me sick to my stomach!!!!!!!!! my son threw up after eating it they tasted soo bad i dont care what everyone else is saying about it it is sooo horrible!!! and i love any kind of mac and cheese (including microwave lima bean, zuccini, corn and butter bowl mac and cheese that no one else likes!)
also it has barely any cheese in it so i would quadruple the cheese
I substituted panko for the cornflakes and it was good. I'd recommend adding salt, reducing the cook time on the noodles so they aren't as mushy once it all bakes together. I also broiled it at the end to brown the topping. My family really liked this recipe. I personally thought it needed something. Maybe it wasn't cheesy enough. It was a little bland. But still worth making.
I really enjoyed this for a change from my usual macaroni & cheese recipe. I wasn't so sure about the cream cheese, but you don't taste the cream cheese in it. I thought the smoked gouda was what made it so special. I used a top-quality smoked ham which I think makes a difference also in how good it turns out. My only substitution was panko crumbs in lieu of the cornflakes. I definitely think it's good enough to make again.