Coming up with new meal ideas can be a challenge. Luckily, The Park at Forest Hill Apartments in Memphis, Tennessee makes it simple by presenting deliciously realistic options, such as this one for mac and cheese! The best thing about the dish is that there are so many renditions of it that you can cherry-pick the perfect one for you and your family. However, many mac and cheese recipes tend to be on the heavier side and difficult to enjoy very often. That’s why this recipe for Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese, courtesy of Skinny Taste, is a perfect substitute and will pair perfectly with everything, from the main event at your regular at-home meals to a side dish at your summer BBQ cookouts.
Gina Homolka, the popular food blogger behind Skinny Taste, made this staple dish lighter by reducing the butter, using reduced-fat cheddar cheese, replacing the cream with skim milk and chicken or veggie broth, and adding fresh baby spinach. Although your kids might be skeptical at first glance, one try of this recipe, and they’ll never want to go back to your former recipe for mac and cheese! Check out the ingredients and directions below:
• 12-ounces elbow macaroni, wheat or whole wheat
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1/4 cup minced onion
• 2 cups skim milk
• 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
• 8-ounces reduced-fat cheddar, for best results, shred yourself
• Salt and pepper
• 4 cups baby spinach
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
• 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
• Olive oil spray
1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Spray a baking dish with olive oil spray.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
3. In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a whisk.
4. Add onion and cook for another 2 minutes. Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Once it becomes thick, remove from heat, add cheese 1/4 cup at a time and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and baby spinach.
6. Pour into the baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more oil on top.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.