Holy macaroni this pasta is amazing! I mean, how many calories would you pay for a giant plate of creamy, cheesy, homemade macaroni and cheese right now? The usual 600-800? How about 322 calories, baby? Booya!
Not only is this decadent mac and cheese low calorie and low fat, it’s packed with hidden veggies. Cauliflower does double duty by bulking up the pasta (just like in my favorite baked ziti) and adding extra veggie-based creaminess to the sauce. That can be our secret, though. You’d never suspect it under the decadent, cheesy sauce.
Just a heads up that it will seem like a lot of sauce when you first add the pasta but things will thicken up while baking. If you want to skip the baking part and enjoy this straight from the stove top (I won’t blame you – I enjoyed more than a few bites straight from the stove), just add an extra 2oz of pasta.
That resolution is going to be so easy to keep this year.
- 8 oz elbow macaroni
- 1 large head cauliflower (about 4 cups florets)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 c flour
- 1 c chicken broth
- 2 c nonfat milk
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz low fat sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 oz Parmesan, divided
- 2 tbs breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add cauliflower, and boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in broth and milk, whisking to incorporate. Bring to a boil and continue whisking until mixture is thick. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, salt, pepper, and cheeses, reserving a large pinch of Parmesan for the top.
Add 1/2 the cooked cauliflower and puree with an immersion blender or very carefully in a blender. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Add macaroni and reserved cauliflower, breaking the cauliflower into small florets.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and reserved Parmesan.
Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
Total Fat 14.0g
Saturated Fat 6.5g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrates 32.1g
Dietary Fiber 2.0g
Weight Watchers Points: 7