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Chimichurri Mac and Cheese

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on time 12 mins
Total time 32 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
Serve with Glazed Baby Carrots. Chimichurri--the South American herb sauce typically served with meat--revs up basic mac and cheese with tangy flavors. You can also serve this in individual ramekins or small serving skillets.


  • 8 ounces uncooked ziti rigate
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 ounces light processed cheese (such as Velveeta Light), cubed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley stems
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • Glazed Baby Carrots

Nutrition Information

  • calories 419
  • fat 10.9 g
  • satfat 6.1 g
  • monofat 3.1 g
  • polyfat 0.7 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrate 60.9 g
  • fiber 3.4 g
  • cholesterol 28 mg
  • iron 3.5 mg
  • sodium 540 mg
  • calcium 302 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat broiler to high.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

  3. While pasta cooks, combine milk, stock, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 1 minute or until thickened. Let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 ounces shredded cheddar and processed cheese, stirring until smooth.

  4. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, oregano, thyme, pepper, and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine onion mixture, parsley stems, cilantro stems, and lime juice in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.

  5. Combine pasta, milk mixture, and parsley mixture. Heat cast-iron skillet over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pasta mixture to pan; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese. Broil 8 inches from heat for 5 minutes or until cheese is browned. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.