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Mealtime Makeover: Mac and Cheese

This dish is healthier with low-fat milk and evaporated skim milk, whole-wheat elbow macaroni, and reduced-fat cheeses.

Prep time: 50 minutes

What you need:

This Recipe's Ingreidients:

  • 2 c. whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1-1/2 c. 1% milk
  • 1 c. evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1-3/4 c. low-fat shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1-3/4 c. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp. mustard powder and dash of cayenne pepper

Traditional Recipe's Ingredients:

  • 2 c. elbow macaroni
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2-1/2 c. milk
  • 3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

What to do:

  1. In large Dutch oven or stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, take 2 tbsp. of the measured 1% milk and mix with cornstarch until it's dissolved.
  3. Add remaining 1% milk and evaporated skim milk to empty Dutch oven. Mix in the milk and cornstarch and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture bubbles and starts to thicken. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 4 minutes until mixture is creamy. Remove from heat and gradually stir in salt, seasonings and cheeses until cheese is melted and uniform.
  4. Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture, stirring to make sure that all noodles are coated.
  5. Transfer macaroni and cheese into a 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 350° F (176° C) for 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese sauce is bubbly.
  7. Let the dish stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional analysis (per serving):

This Recipe:

  • 314 calories
  • 21g protein
  • 10g fat
  • 7g sat. fat
  • 35g carbohydrate
  • 3g fiber
  • 33mg cholesterol
  • 605mg sodium
  • 508mg calcium
  • 1.5mg iron
  • 5mcg folic acid

Traditional Recipe:

  • 507 calories
  • 21g protein
  • 27g fat
  • 17g sat. fat
  • 45g carbohydrate
  • 1g fiber
  • 83mg cholesterol
  • 6mg sodium
  • 465mg calcium
  • 1.3mg iron
  • 114mcg folic acid (fortified noodles)

Serves: 6

Serving size: 2/3 cup

Note:  Analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: November 2015
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