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Lighter Three-Cheese Mac

57

A serving of mac and cheese can pack up to 800 calories and 40 grams of fat. We whittled those numbers way down by subbing 1% milk for whole and creamy Neufchatel for higher-fat cheeses. Broccoli adds substance and vitamins.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Source: Everyday Food, March 2013

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound short tubular pasta, such as cavatappi
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces Neufchatel cheese
  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 1 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground mustard. Saute until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Neufchatel, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until incorporated. Gradually whisk in milk, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cheddar and Parmesan, then add pasta and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and bake until bubbling in center, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with panko, and serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11779448
    31 MAR, 2016
    Love this recipe and will use it. Maybe without the broccoli..Sarah, really enjoy your videos and tips. You have inspired me to cook and given us some delicious meals. Thank You. Linda
    Reply
  • MS11289268
    31 MAR, 2016
    I like the shells with cheese box version - but I don't buy it anymore - aside from fact that it's just not healthy, it just doesn't taste as cheesy as it once did. Sarah's personality is amazing - always cheerful - enjoy listening to her very much. Also enjoy listening to Martha's Cooking School -- i find her presentation style very zen/comforting --- and i always learn something! thanks.
    Reply
  • roseannssulliv
    26 FEB, 2016
    this looked delish, but my grandkids were use to the Kraft box stuff and didn't want to try my homemade. I haven't given up yet tho. Funny thing is I made homemade mac and cheese very much like yours except I had broccoli as a side and my kids loved it, but they didn't make my homemade recipe with their kids because of the time involved etc. They are working moms and the box seemed easier, I hope they will try your recipe, I don't think it's too late and hope their kids will eat it/
    Reply
  • MS10611336
    20 JUN, 2015
    Fantastic recipe. For once, I followed the recipe and it paid off. Made it for my husband's birthday ... I made all his comfort foods from scratch. I do not do this often, so it was a treat. Oh yes, regarding Sarah's hairdo? it is part of her charm. Don't try to change people who are perfectly fine. I so enjoy her podcasts because of her personality, style, and ad libs.
    Reply
  • MS10611336
    20 JUN, 2015
    Fantastic recipe. For once, I followed the recipe and it paid off. Made it for my husband's birthday ... I made all his comfort foods from scratch. I do not do this often, so it was a treat. Oh yes, regarding Sarah's hairdo? it is part of her charm. Don't try to change people who are perfectly fine. I so enjoy her podcasts because of her personality, style, and ad libs.
    Reply
  • MirToni
    20 AUG, 2014
    Great recipe! Only a couple of minor changes to the ingredients - fat free milk for 1% milk and cream cheese for Neufchatel cheese (was not able to find it this time) Turned out so creamy and delicious! Really liked the addition of the broccoli too. Would definitely make again!
    Reply
  • cedens
    10 APR, 2013
    This was great! I swapped the broccoli for kale as it was what I had(followed same instructions) and it was fantastic!
    Reply
  • frankpaul
    25 MAR, 2013
    Made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! I used Barilla Cellentani for the pasta, Camembert cheese instead of Neufchatel and a grated Parmesan Romano blend instead of just Parmesan...so technically it was 4 cheese...delicious, will make this again! Might also roast some tomatoes next time and serve them on the side.
    Reply
  • TheCookie
    21 MAR, 2013
    I love Sarah, but she really needs a professional to do her hair. She's cute and a pro-style will bring out the best.
    Reply
  • JennVincent
    18 MAR, 2013
    This dish was a hit chez moi, including with my 14-month-old. A few adjustments: I steamed the broccoli, I used a bit of cream cheese instead of elusive Neufch√Ętel and whole wheat bowtie pasta instead of the white stuff, and I added some chopped roasted red pepper for an additional colour and nutrient punch.
    Reply