Creamy Four-Cheese Macaroni

Photo: Levi Brown; Styling: Tiziana Agnello

There's something about the way plain old macaroni cooks to a soft, silky texture that enhances the creaminess of this dish. Each hollow noodle gets coated inside and out with luscious sauce. Although we rarely use processed cheese, here it's the key to a supercreamy texure that does not rely on heavy cream. We tested lots of mac and cheese recipes, and none was as velvety as this one. It has half the fat and calories of traditional versions with no loss of richness.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Recipe from Cooking Light

More From Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 347
  • Fat: 11.5g
  • Saturated fat: 5.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 17.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 43.8g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Cholesterol: 29mg
  • Iron: 1.7mg
  • Sodium: 607mg
  • Calcium: 346mg

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 2/3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 ounces shredded fontina cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 ounces light processed cheese (such as light Velveeta)
  • 6 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 3 cups uncooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup crushed melba toasts (about 12 pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. 2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add cheeses, and stir until the cheeses melt. Stir in cooked macaroni, salt, and black pepper.
  3. 3. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine crushed toasts, oil, and garlic in small bowl; stir until well blended. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Note:

This recipe originally ran in Cooking Light September, 1996 and was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

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