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:

  1. 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.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
  3. Heat 1 ½ cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  6. 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.
  7. Spread half the pasta mixture on prepared baking dish. Spoon spinach on top. Top with remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
  8. Bake casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serving Size: 4

Nutritional Facts:
Plate icon

Calories 576
Total Fat 22g
Chol 69mg
Protein 37g

Sodium 917mg
Total Carbs 63g
Fiber 9g
Sugars 0g

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