I find mac and cheese to be totally comforting. My favorite is Pioneer Woman’s but I can’t be eating heavy mac and cheese all the time. I make PW’s mac and cheese every Halloween, and while it’s 100% by far my favoritest, I also like to search for mac and cheese recipes that I can make more than once a year.
This recipe is made lighter by using cottage cheese. Okay people, I know so many of you think cottage cheese is nasty, but it’s not! It’s super healthy for you, keeps you full, and it’s packed with protein. That sounds a lot better for you than regular mac and cheese. Plus, the cottage cheese is pureed, so if the lumps are what freaks you out, it’s more of a ricotta consistency by the time it goes into your dish.
Baked Mac & Cheese
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light November 2011
1 box of whole wheat penne
1 (12 oz) carton of low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
3 Tablespoons panko
1 Tablespoon fresh minced flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain & set aside.
3. Puree cottage cheese in a food processor/blender until smooth. Combine cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add pasta to the bowl and mix to combine. Spoon mixture into a baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Combine remaining parmesan cheese, panko, and pasley in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta dish, and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Preheat broiler and broil for about 1 minute to brown the top. Serve immediately.