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Oxmoor House Photo by: Oxmoor House

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese

We set out to make a serious dent in the calorie and fat content of good old macaroni and cheese, while preserving the creamy comfort-food texture.

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2011

  • Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
  • Hands-on:1 Hour
  • Total:1 Hour, 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 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, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 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

Preparation

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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 390
  • Fat: 10.9g
  • Saturated fat: 6.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4g
  • Protein: 19.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 53.9g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Cholesterol: 31mg
  • Iron: 2.4mg
  • Sodium: 589mg
  • Calcium: 403mg
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Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese recipe

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