Macaroni and Four Cheeses
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat shells!)
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
- 2 cups 1 percent low fat milk
- 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.
- Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.
I’ve tried the Cooking Light mac ‘n cheese recipe, and was disappointed. I thought it tasted extremely bland. I crossed my fingers that this recipe would be better.
Don’t be scared by the color of the squash!
Adding ice cream ricotta,
and the hand-grated monetary jack and extra-sharp cheddar.
The sauce was amazing… I had a good feeling about this dish already.
I doubled the topping- I knew it would be Lloyd’s favorite part!
Fresh out of the oven!
I used a glass casserole dish (it was all I had!) so I was unable to broil the mac ‘n cheese. It lacked the browned crispness I would have liked, but it didn’t deter me…
It’s hard to make this dish appear appetizing. Just trust me on this one.
Creamy and chewy with the occasional crunch from the top…
The flavor of the cheeses mixed together was amazing, and the squash lent this dish a slightly nutty flavor.
It’s better than boxed mac ‘n cheese, and boasts better nutritional stats!
This lightened up version blows the Cooking Light recipe out of the water. And the leftovers taste just as good! It yielded eight portions, and they are eight hearty portions.