Baked Mac & Cheese
From Thanksgiving dinner to after-school specials, mac and cheese has a special place in our hearts year-round. Preheat your oven to reignite your love for this traditional soul food with our hearty recipe!
What You Need:
- 3 Tbsps plain, dry breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 package (16 oz or 10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 ¾ cups low-fat milk, divided
- 3 Tbsps all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 oz (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni or penne
How It’s Made:
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
- Heat 1 ½ cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming.
- Whisk remaining ¼ cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to cheese sauce; mix well.
- Spread half the pasta mixture on prepared baking dish. Spoon spinach on top. Top with remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
Serving Size: 4
Total Fat 22g
Total Carbs 63g
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