Lightened-Up Macaroni & Cheese

Believe it or not, the creaminess of this dish comes from pureed vegetables. If you don’t have cauliflower, try it with butternut squash.

Shirley Fan

Lightened-Up Macaroni & Cheese

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    Cooking spray 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
    8 ounces uncooked whole wheat penne pasta 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    3/4 pound cauliflower Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
    1/4 medium yellow onion 4 teaspoons whole wheat bread crumbs
    1 clove garlic 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


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    • 1

      Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

    • 2

      Bring a medium-size pot filled 2/3 with water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions; drain. Set aside in a medium bowl.

    • 3

      In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the cauliflower, onion, and garlic. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the vegetables till they are tender. Drain half of the cooking liquid, reserving a cup or two.

    • 4

      Using a blender, or food processor, puree the vegetables, adding some reserved cooking liquid if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in the cheddar cheese and mustard, and season with salt and pepper.

    • 5

      Pour enough of the cheese and vegetable mixture over the pasta to generously coat. Transfer the pasta to the prepared pan and sprinkle the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the bread crumbs are toasted and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

    nutritional information

    7 g
    8 g
    Saturated Fat:
    3.5 g
    50 g
    16 g
    310 mg
    Added Sugars:
    4 g
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