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Sinfully Rich and Skinny Macaroni and Cheese

Get ready to make the most amazing macaroni and cheese, skinny or not!!! This casserole is so over the top rich and is completely vegetarian. Using a store bought container of light Alfredo sauce transforms ordinary mac and cheese into extraordinary! To make it super cheesy and keep it skinny, I’m adding fat-free cottage cheese or ricotta cheese to the sauce and topping the casserole with a small amount of reduced-fat mozzarella. The skinny for 1 serving, 293 calories, 9 grams of fat and Weight Watchers Points PLUS.  Great to make for the family and truly fabulous to impress company. If you’re looking to try “Meatless Mondays,” here’s a wonderful recipe to start with!

macaroni and cheese recipe, recipes, weight watchers, weight watchers recipe, recipe, healthy eating

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook and Bake Time: 40 minutes


Ingredients

2 cups (8 ounces) dry Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta or penne, see shopping tip

1 (10 oz) container Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, see shopping tip

1 (9 oz) package frozen and thawed chopped spinach, well drained

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese or fat-free ricotta cheese

¼ cup fat-free milk

1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light, melted

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon dried basil

1 egg, I like using Egg-land’s Best eggs

A small dash of salt and black pepper, to taste

½ cup shredded (2%) reduced-fat mozzarella cheese


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. You can use glass or metal.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook only for 6 minutes so it will not be overcooked. No need to add salt to water! Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together Alfredo sauce, drained spinach, cottage cheese, milk, butter and garlic. Add pasta and mix really well. Blend in egg, basil, salt and pepper. Be sure it’s all mixed together well.

4.Transfer pasta to the prepared baking dish.

5. Sprinkle the top evenly with mozzarella cheese

6. Bake casserole 25 minutes until golden brown. Let casserole rest for 10
minutes. Cut into 6 serving. This casserole freeze great!

Makes 6 servings (about 1½ cups each)

 

Healthy Benefits
I love the fiber-rich whole grain pasta available in the supermarket today. Barilla Whole Grain Elbows contains 6 grams of fiber for a 2 ounce serving!

Frozen spinach might just be more nutritious than fresh. The nutritional benefit of fresh spinach, in just four days in the crisper, can be greatly reduced.  Frozen spinach is processed immediately after being picked, locking in the nutrients.

Shopping Tips
Use Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, if possible. It comes in a 10 ounce container and can be found in most supermarkets in the refrigerator section, where fresh pasta and sauces are displayed. If you can’t find it, there are several brands of jarred light Alfredo sauces in the pasta aisle. They come in a larger, 15 ounce jar, so you’ll have some leftover.

There are several brands of whole wheat or whole grain small pasta that will work for this recipe. I used Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta. It looks like a macaroni shell. You could also use a whole grain or whole wheat penne or rigatoni pasta, if desired.

Visit  Skinny Kitchen  for more delicious recipes

Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox is no stranger to the food industry. She founded Mrs. Beasley's, a gift-basket company featuring baskets full of decadent baked goods. It became the "hot" gift to give among the Hollywood community. 
Nancy later opened 2 low fat restaurants called Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen. Her line of reduced-fat cookies were featured on "Oprah's Favorites" gift show. Continuing her passion for cooking and baking Nancy created a recipe website called <a href="http://www.skinnykitchen.com">Skinny Kitchen</a>. Each week she shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There’s also nutritional facts and Weight Watchers POINTS on each recipe.

Adela

Friday 8th of November 2013

This looks wonderful. I'm trying it and sharing it. Mac and Cheese is my comfort food. Not the blue box kind, the real baked, yummy kind.

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Thursday 7th of November 2013

Thank you so much Annie and Sharon for featuring my recipe.! I hope everyone enjoys it. Wishing you all the best, Nancy

Anne Parris

Thursday 7th of November 2013

This looks delicious, Nancy! Mac and cheese is my number one comfort food when the weather cools off.

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Thursday 7th of November 2013

I'm with you Anne. I love mac and cheese. I hope you thoroughly enjoy this skinny recipe! With my warmest wishes, Nancy

valerie

Thursday 7th of November 2013

This looks amazing! Comfort food without the Calories! Yum!

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Thursday 7th of November 2013

Thanks so much Valerie!

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