January 27, 2015

Macaroni and Four Cheeses [recipe]

Mac n cheese. Cheesy. Gooey. Healthy… wait what?! Yup, you read that right. Here’s my healthy version of the comfort food favorite. No guilt here while you dig your fork into this healthier mac batch!

Your Healthiest You Macaroni and Four Cheeses

8 servings


Cooking spray – I like Coconut Oil

1 pound whole grain elbow macaroni

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash

2 cups nonfat milk or rice milk

4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar grated (about 1 1/3 cups)

2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (okay to leave out if you don’t already have it)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon powdered mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan

4 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, Jack cheese, ricotta cheese, and all of the seasonings. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.  Don’t worry if mixture looks a little thin, it will thicken in the oven.
  5. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.


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