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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 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.

Step 3

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

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Ratings & Reviews

Lkarcher's Review

October 09, 2014
Suggest using a microwave safe bowl with a heavy lid rather than plastic wrap for the garlic. Not likely anything will get thru skin but still ...


May 11, 2015
Super awesome garlicky deliciousness! I used all Vermont white cheddar and skipped the mozzarella.


July 17, 2017
My first attempt using whole grain pasta and I was very disappointed.   the pasta's bitterness overwhelmed the dish, and my husband actually thought it tasted fishy.     I used fresh grated cheddar and an Italian blend of cheese instead of mozzarella.     I will not make this again.   My friends who regularly eat whole grain pasta said it needed a stronger sauce like tomato based or more cheese.

Robinlclayton's Review

December 27, 2014
Delicious! Made this for Christmas and I think it is the best mac and cheese I have made.

Just ok

November 03, 2016
Apparently we ran out of mozzarella so I used some pepper jack instead.  I also oven-roasted the garlic.  Whoa...very garlicky sauce.  My sauce also wasn't thick enough.  If I made this again, I'd reduce the milk and use only one head of garlic.