Ellie's Macaroni and Four Cheeses
By Ellie Krieger, MS, RD
Image: Courtesy of Christopher Hirsheimer
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This creamy, crumb-topped macaroni-and-cheese gets its bright orange color and a big nutritional boost from puréed winter squash. Don't tell and no one will ever know. They'll just thank you for making their favorite cheesy comfort meal.
- Cooking spray
- 1 (16-ounce) box elbow macaroni
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen puréed winter squash
- 2 cups lowfat milk
- 1-1⁄3 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- 2⁄3 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)
- 1⁄2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the macaroni according the package directions. Drain and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk in a large saucepan and cook over 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 the heat and stir in the cheddar, Jack cheese, ricotta, salt, mustard, and cayenne. Pour this mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine.
- Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake until the cheeses are bubbling around the edges, about 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.
Recipe provided courtesy of Ellie Krieger. © 2008-2009 In Balance, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
To learn more about Ellie Krieger, MS, RD -- New York Times bestselling author and host of Food Network’s Healthy Appetite -- go to www.elliekrieger.com.
This content originally appeared in The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger (The Taunton Press, 2008).
For more of Ellie Krieger's recipes, eat-smart advice, and tips, check out her Kaboose column, Great Food, Healthy Family.
Servings per Recipe:
8 (2-cup) servings
Total fat: 11g
8 (2-cup) servings
This dish is an excellent source of calcium, folate, manganese, niacin, protein, selenium, thiamin, and vitamin A, and it's a good source of fiber, iron, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
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