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Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen


Hands-on time 24 mins
Total time 24 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

We boost nutrition by using whole-grain pasta, and we rev up the flavor with quick microwave-roasted garlic. We prefer whole-grain pasta over whole-wheat pasta here; the flavor of the latter is rather strong--sometimes a touch bitter--and would over­-whelm the nice garlic notes.


  • 2 whole garlic heads
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 10 ounce whole-grain penne (such as Barilla)
  • 2 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 376
  • fat 12.9 g
  • satfat 6 g
  • monofat 4.2 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrate 45 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 31 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 568 mg
  • calcium 386 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat broiler to high.

  2. Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Place garlic heads in a microwave-safe bowl; rub garlic heads with oil. Pour 3 tablespoons water into bottom of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH for 4 minutes and 30 seconds or until garlic is very tender; cool slightly.

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

  4. Combine milk and flour in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook 3 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper, 1 ounce cheddar, and mozzarella.

  5. Separate garlic cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Place garlic pulp and 2 cups milk mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Stir garlic mixture into milk mixture. Add pasta; stir to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into 6 (10-ounce) ramekins or gratin dishes or a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 3 ounces cheddar. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let stand 5 minutes.