Light High Fiber Macaroni and Cheese
I was so incredibly picky as a child that I wouldn’t even eat Macaroni and Cheese.
I basically lived on chicken fingers and pasta with butter. Super balanced.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that I actually tried macaroni and cheese and I never looked back.
Obviously macaroni and cheese is DELICIOUS but it’s not exactly the lightest dish around so I don’t have it often but I wanted to do some experimenting in the kitchen to see if I could create a lightened up recipe without having to use butternut squash or throw in tons of broccoli to increase the volume.
That’s right you guys, no veggies have been harmed in the making of this recipe.
Here’s how I was able to lighten this up without pulling a Jessica Seinfeld:
- Fiber Gourmet Elbow Pasta: This stuff has 130 calories per 2 oz (versus 210 calories in regular pasta). It also has 18 grams of fiber (compared to 2 grams in regular pasta) and HALF the net carbs. I also think it tastes just like pasta and I trick my husband with it all the time.
- Chicken Broth: This is my culinary secret weapon for adding moisture and flavor to food without a ton of fat and calories.
- Low fat cheese: It might come as a shock to some but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dairy and there’s even less wrong with low fat dairy. We need to stop fear mongering!
- Panko: I use the smallest amount of panko but let me tell you, it makes ALL the difference!
Check it out!Print
Light Macaroni and Cheese
- Yield: 1/3 Recipe
- 4 oz Fiber Gourmet Elbow Pasta, Dry
- 2 tsp Light Butter
- 2 tbsp White Flour
- 2 tbsp Minced Onion
- 5 fl oz Skim Milk
- 3 fl oz Chicken Broth
- 2 oz Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar Cheese
- 1 oz Fat Free Cheddar Cheese
- 1.5 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Propellant free cooking spray
- Optional: 2 tbsp Bread Crumbs of choice or GG Cracker Crumbs
- Salt pasta water and cook pasta according to directions on box.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium skillet, add butter and allow to melt. Add flour and reduce heat to low, whisking flour into butter mixture to create a roux.
- Add minced onion to the butter mixture and allow to cook for ~2 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add milk and chicken broth. Whisk and allow mixture to come to a boil. Once the mixture is smooth and has thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove milk mixture from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese has melted. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture and then transfer to a baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Top with grated parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs (optional). You can serve as is or if you prefer baked macaroni and cheese, continue to the next step.
- To bake your macaroni and cheese: Spritz top with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake for ~15 minutes and then increase heat to broil for ~3 minutes to allow breadcrumbs to crisp up.
- Serving Size: 3 Servings
- Calories: 215
- Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 37 g
- Fiber: 12 g
- Protein: 17 g
Alix Turoff, an online dietitian, and certified personal trainer, continually writing new content for her dietitian blogs.