It’s a good thing my 2015 goals are all about being healthy and not at all about being modest because I’m so crazy proud of this recipe.
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
Aw man, you know just what this girl needs on a Friday after a long week! This may be the first time I’ll ever enjoy cauliflower…
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
SKINNY Mac ‘n cheese- I so need to make this really soon! Love it, looks so tasty and delicious. Bookmarked! 😀
Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks says
Drooling. Love your cauliflower add in (obviously!)
Maggie Jones says
Great minds think alike 😉
Brad Jones (Maggie's husband) says
I think my wife channeled a little Stuart Scott for this blog. :’-( Well today she must be the bus driver, ’cause she just took other mac and cheese recipes to school! This is one of those recipes where the healthy version tastes like the real thing. I scarfed this one down and am not sure if she got any of the leftovers ’cause it was the first thing I looked for in the fridge to take to work the next few mornings. An instant classic “Skinny Mac & Cheese Boo-Yeah!”
–(R.I.P Stuart. We’ll miss you.)–
I made this recipe tonight and loved it! Since I have a few food allergies I replaced a few of the ingredients:
– cornmeal instead of flour
– almond milk instead of milk
– lactose free cheddar instead of cheddar
And allowed myself the pleasure of panko and Parmesan to top!
And I have to say this is the best mac n cheese recipe ever! Thank so much for sharing! I love the touch of cayenne and nutmeg to the recipe!
Maggie Jones says
I’m so glad you loved this, too – you’ve totally made my day!
I have to try it with the almond milk – sounds very tasty.
Made this tonight.. OMG is what I have to say about this. Definitely fills the mac and cheese ooey gooey cheesy cravings SO GOOD.