These individual mac-and-cheese casseroles call for pungent Parmesan and extra-sharp cheddar, which means the noodles get away with less-than-usual amounts of cheese. Low-fat milk, chicken stock, and olive oil keep the sauce creamy.

Martha Stewart Living, January 2006

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Recipe Summary

Servings:
8
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tomatoes in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle each sheet with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tomatoes have softened, about 20 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

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  • Process bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with remaining tablespoon oil in amedium skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until almost al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, and run under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

  • Whisk 1/2 cup stock into the flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add milk and remaining 1 1/2 cups stock. Whisk in flour mixture. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Add cheeses; cook, stirring, until melted. Pour over macaroni, stirring to combine.

  • Put eight 4 1/2-by-1 1/4-inch ramekins on a baking sheet. Put 2 tomato slices in bottom of each ramekin. Divide macaroni mixture evenly among ramekins. Top each with a tomato slice. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and thyme sprigs. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Reviews (42)

82 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 24
  • 4 star values: 29
  • 3 star values: 18
  • 2 star values: 10
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: Unrated
01/25/2015
To make 1/2 a recipe simple reduce All into half amounts.The nutmeg is traditional in All Macaroni Cheese recipes. Omit this & cayenne powder if not enjoyed yet does add flavour. Bread is traditional on top of Macaroni Cheese. When full fats are not used Herbes & Spices take a well deserved place for even Salt.
Rating: Unrated
01/01/2012
PLEASE include nutrition info....I'm a Weight Watcher.....
Rating: Unrated
01/23/2011
What's up with the nutmeg? Nutmeg has a strong taste and I don't want it in my Mac and Cheese.
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Rating: Unrated
01/06/2011
I just put this into my Weight Watchers Recipe builder and it's 13 points. Not something I would call "lighter". I'm not sure what the bread is all about, I think the macaroni should be enough. You could probably do half of everything but that would still give you 4 servings.
Rating: Unrated
01/05/2010
I completely agree about the need for nutritional information - especially for these recipes that are supposed to be "lighter." It's hard to judge how light they really are without information regarding calories/fat grams per serving.
Rating: Unrated
12/03/2009
how does one reduce the amount for smaller serving? there is only 2 of us. Don't like making this much up at one time.
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Rating: Unrated
11/12/2009
I agree. Nutritional information would be really helpful.
Rating: Unrated
05/12/2009
Can we get nutritional information for these online recipes, please?
Rating: Unrated
03/24/2009
Never one to follow directions i took a few shortcuts on this recipe to accomodate with what i already had and it still turned out great. I used rye bread instead of white, didn't add cayenne or the tomatoes, and made it casserole style instead of individual ramekins. Add crushed red pepper-Delish!
Rating: Unrated
02/28/2009
I make this with the Chicken Tenders with Creamy Mustard Sauce for one of my husband's favorite meals. We leave out the tomatoes because that just sounds gross! I also use boxed bread crumbs instead of making them. I like that this recipe tastes creamy but it's much healthier than regular macaroni and cheese! The thyme is a nice touch.
Rating: Unrated
02/24/2009
Slightly bland. I think something needs to be added to give this recipe a little more bite.
Rating: Unrated
02/01/2009
I made this using skim milk and I have to say this recipe is delicious! I can't believe how good the cheese sauce got using skim milk and chicken stock! Amazingly good!
Rating: Unrated
01/08/2009
this sounds fantastic! I am going to give it a try tonight!
Rating: Unrated
01/03/2009
Mac n cheese/ Lighter? lighter than what? It would be better to skip it altogether. Only have as a treat, after your goal weight is obtained! It's not worth calories or damage to your diet!
Rating: Unrated
11/01/2008
I made half a recipe which was just right for the two of us. It made two servings for dinner that night and two for a few days later. Served the second night with yellow beets roasted with garlic and shallots which made a really good rainy-day supper.
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
This is soooo good. The chicken stock really adds somethin
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
I'm trying this tonight. No, it's not LIGHT, but it's definitely lighter, making a few tweaks - fat free broth, whole wheat noodles, and skim milk brings it significantly under control, I'm also adding wilted swiss chard for a little more green and more veggies. I ended up with 370 cals, 21g of fat (10 saturated). Of course switching to lower fat cheese for part of it would also make a difference - but then what's the fun
Rating: Unrated
10/03/2008
it doesn't say light, it says lighter -- lighter than the first version of this same recipe that swims in melted cheese and so rich my husband wouldn't even eat it. This is a delicious recipe. We make it a lot. Good for pot lucks and dinner parties with kids.
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2008
This looks Delicious! I would love to have calorie counts and information info on these recipes. I've noticed in the Everyday Food magazine they are being added below the recipes on each page, and I LOVE that -- so much easier than hunting through the back of the magazine to see if the food is in my nutritional need range. I have to be very careful what I eat, and having nutritional information is very helpful.
Rating: Unrated
04/06/2008
WOW! Not very light! I used the Living Cookbook software to calc. nutritional info. Amount Per Serving (Based on 8 servings) Calories 654.14 Calories From Fat (72%) 468.74 % Daily Value Total Fat 53.09g 82% Saturated Fat 14.62g 73% Cholesterol 44.78mg 15% Sodium 461.86mg 19% Carbohydrates 29.32g 10% Dietary Fiber 1.40g 6% Net Carbohydrates 27.92g Protein 16.17g 32%
Rating: Unrated
03/22/2008
do we dare ask for calorie counts or nutritional info on these recipes?
Rating: Unrated
03/07/2008
how long should I cook this in one bigger pan, about 9x13?
Rating: Unrated
02/26/2008
OH yeah, LOTS of dishes to wash after!
Rating: Unrated
02/26/2008
I made this last night. Store bought bread crums are a tasty alternative. I added bacon and it was mm mm GOOD!
Rating: Unrated
02/25/2008
Just made this for dinner, recipe was good, but wow,get ready for some dish pan hands. I washed 3 baking sheets, the food processor, a medium skillet, a large pot, a colander, a large bowl, a medium bowl, a medium sauce pan, a cheese grater, and eight ramekins. Whew!
Rating: Unrated
02/23/2008
I made this recipe a few days ago, let it sit in the fridge, than heated it up for lunch. It was fantastic, it was great, and it looked beautiful. I used asiago instead, and it did just fine. I also used cherry tomatoes, and cut them into thirds. The method for preparing the tomatoes and using fresh thyme gave it a real punch. We will make this again. We used to make mac and cheese out of the box, but I don't think we can go back. We also liked the idea that it was a lighter version.
Rating: Unrated
02/23/2008
Agree Mac 'n Cheese is comfort food ... live a little and decrease other foods. The tomato makes it a whole different dish. Grammababy
Rating: Unrated
02/22/2008
THIS IS A GOOD START, BUT COULD TRIM MORE. NO SALT!! LOW-FAT CHEDDAR. NO BREAD TOPPING. THE TOMATOES WITH PARM. CHEESE AND THYME IS GOOD ENOUGH. A NICE GREEN SALAD WITH OIL AND VINEGAR. THERE YOU GO!
Rating: Unrated
02/22/2008
Macn'cheese is a comfort food. Using whole milk and cheese is the only way to go. How often do you eat it and portion control is another. Exercise will burn off those calories. Live alittle
Rating: Unrated
02/22/2008
lrt's face it - macn'cheese isn't on out 'eating plan' even with Martha's help. However, if you can stick to the portion size 490 calories can be traded off. Eat light for a couple of days or eat really light on the day you have the macn'cheese. Choices, choices.
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2008
Ten or eleven points seems quite high to be "light" considering most of us are aiming for about 20 points a day. This would have to be a day I'd be Craving this kind of food, and this would be a Trade-off against the Much Worse 'real thing'.
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2008
Be careful. Making an already high carb dish low fat makes it even higher in carbs. Increasingly studies are showing that American's became fat from the low-fat craze that hit in the 70s. Just remember, the French eat fat and are thin. This recipe only uses low fat milk which is higher in carbs the whole milk or cream - so it's not terrible, but still know what you're getting into here......
Rating: Unrated
02/21/2008
I feel it would be extremely helpful to have the Nutritional Facts listed with these wonderful recipes so that we could make informed decisions . Janice
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2008
Weight Watchers would count each 4-1/2 X 1-1/4 ramekin serving as 11-1/2 points. I got this number down to 10 points by using double fiber bread instead of white sandwich bread and low fat cheddar cheese. Hope this answers Barnaby's comment.
Rating: Unrated
01/02/2008
My calorie analyzer gave slightly higher figures per serving. I use FitWatch.com. I got 545.8 kcal, 22.56 g protein, 21.54 g fat, 10.06 g sat fat, 65.46 g carbs, 44.83 mg cholesterol, 3.54 g dietary fiber, 469.98 g sodium. Lots of good vitamins and calcium, though, and while I wouldn't call it "light" it is, as proimsed, "lighter" than my family's favorite version of the same dish.
Rating: Unrated
01/02/2008
According to my online recipe analyzer, this dish (using nonfat chicken stock) has 490 calories, 20.9 g of fat, 9.5 G saturated fat, 55.4 g carbs (6.3 sugar) and 20 g of protein.
Rating: Unrated
12/29/2007
Since I am a Weight Watcher could you supply the calorie count and the fat content with these recipes. This would help me immensely to count my points for the recipe. Thank you. I am anxious to try this Mac and Cheese.
Rating: Unrated
12/27/2007
I would like to know the calorie content.
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2007
Love M
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2007
Mac and cheese that doesn't come from a box - fantastic!
Rating: Unrated
11/11/2007
This is perfect for someone like me who loves mac and cheese but has trouble making smart eating choices; and it is really good too!
Rating: Unrated
11/08/2007
This recipe is great. It's a great way to satisfy a craving with all the guilt!
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