A Healthier Macaroni and Cheese


The other day I was in the mood for macaroni and cheese. I knew I would be making a healthier version, and I ended up creating a new favorite around here. Even this lighter version has three different kinds of cheese for both flavor and interest. Here's how I did it. I combined chicken broth and pureed cauliflower for the base and excited the flavorer with a few spices. I then stirred in cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheeses and then topped the casserole with panko and parmesan cheese. It came out of the oven so bubbly with a crunch topping. The first bite reminded me that lightening things up does not mean you're sacrificing flavor; it just means you can have a little more. A Healthier Macaroni and Cheese is pure deliciousness and comfort food.


Ingredients for A Healthier Macaroni and Cheese:


1 pound penne or small shells, cooked a minute less than package instructions

2 - 12-ounce bags of frozen cauliflower

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

5 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

cooking spray


Topping:

Combine

1 cup panko

2 cloves minced garlic

4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Time-Saving Tip: Prepare the cheese sauce an hour in advance of baking and stir before using. Prepare the topping up tp a day in advance and store in the refrigerator.


Let's see what we need.


We're ready to cook.



Simmer the cauliflower in the chicken broth until soft. Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the nutmeg, pepper, and mustard. Blend until smooth and return to the pot.


Bring the mixture to a simmer and turn off the heat; stir in the cheese until melted.


Combine the cheese sauce and pasta; pour into a casserole dish. Top the macaroni and cheese with the panko topping; coat with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.


It's ready! A Healthier Macaroni and Cheese is so delicious that it has quickly become a new family favorite. It has all of the creaminess and flavor if the macaroni and cheese we love but healthier and lighter. This updated favorite s a win-win for me. And leftovers taste great the next day, too.


Enjoy!


A Healthier Macaroni and Cheese:

  • 1 pound penne or small shells, cooked a minute less than package instructions

  • 2 - 12-ounce bags of frozen cauliflower

  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

  • cooking spray


Topping:

  • Combine

  • 1 cup panko

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Simmer the cauliflower in the chicken broth until soft. Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the nutmeg, pepper, and mustard. Blend until smooth and return to the pot.

  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and turn off the heat; stir in the cheese until melted.

  • Combine the cheese sauce and pasta; pour into a casserole dish. Top the macaroni and cheese with the panko topping; coat with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Time-Saving Tip: Prepare the cheese sauce an hour in advance of baking and stir before using. Prepare the topping up tp a day in advance and store in the refrigerator.

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