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Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese

Oxmoor House
Hands-on time 1 hr
Total time 1 hr, 25 mins
Yield Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
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.

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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 390
  • fat 10.9 g
  • satfat 6.1 g
  • monofat 2.1 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 19.1 g
  • carbohydrate 53.9 g
  • fiber 3.2 g
  • cholesterol 31 mg
  • iron 2.4 mg
  • sodium 589 mg
  • calcium 403 mg

How to Make It

  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.