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Lighter Creamy Mac & Cheese

posted by Julie Evink on January 3, 2014

Lighter Creamy Mac & Cheese ~ Creamy homemade Mac & Cheese lightened up but stacked with cheesiness!

Lighter Creamy Mac & Cheese ~ Creamy homemade Mac & Cheese lightened up but stacked with cheesiness!

We are officialy on the 3rd day of 2014. How’s that resolution holding up? Did you make one?

I’m not big on the resolution situation. I’m not going to lie. Sure, I promise myself to get back on the bandwagon to eat a wee bit more healthy than I have the last week or so, but really that’s just a normal thing for me. I indulge a little more than I should and I have to reign myself back in and get control again.

Please tell me I’m not the only one like this? The problem is that I don’t like to eat food that tastes like it’s a little bit better for me than the full-fat version. I’m thinking you are nodding your head in agreement about right now!

Lighter Creamy Mac & Cheese ~ Creamy homemade Mac & Cheese lightened up but stacked with cheesiness!That’s when we enter in the amazing Lightened Up Mac & Cheese. I’m still dreaming of it. Want to know why? It’s a bit lighter than the full fat version because it doesn’t have cream and uses chicken broth instead, but it’s still ooey, gooey and cheesy! 

Plus it has garlic in it. And I’m saying you can taste the garlic. It’s not just some random ingredient. Is this scaring you off? Don’t let it! It’s pure amazingness! Just get a breath mint after you it it!

If you are trying to stay on the “healthier” eating bandwagon this New Year then this is the perfect dish for you. I promise you won’t even know you are eating better, my hubby sure didn’t!

Lightened Up Mac & Cheese

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Lightened Up Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 c. shell macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 1/4 c. unsalted chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 8 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 c. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions ommitting any salt and fat called for in directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile heat skillet over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan, swirling to coat pan. Add garlic to pan and cook about 3 minutes until garlic is fragrant, but do not brown garlic. Stir frequently. Stir in 1 c. chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the rest of the stock, milk and flour. Whisk until flour is dissolved. Add milk mixture to the garlic mixture in skillet. Stir with whisk and bring to a boil. Bowl for about 3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add cream cheese, salt and pepper stirring until cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.
  5. Add cheese mixture to pasta in saucepan stirring until coated. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour mixture into 2 quart baking dish coating with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and just starting brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2014/01/lighter-creamy-mac-cheese/

Adapted from: Cooking Light

Looking for more lighter recipes?

 Skinny Coffee Cake Muffins ~ Amazing muffins that are a little on the lighter side and taste like the "real" thing!

Skinny Coffee Cake Muffins

Shrimp Penne with Garlic Sauce ~ Amazing and easy plus it's lightened up!

Shrimp Penne with Garlic Sauce

Cilantro Mesquite BBQ Chicken Taquitos ~ Baked Taquitos filled with Mesquite Chicken, BBQ Sauce, Pepper Jack Cheese, and Cilantro. Baked until crisp and topped with Sea Salt!

Cilantro Mesquite BBQ Chicken Taquitos

Make sure you don’t miss any of the fun stuff Julie’s Eats & Treats is up to!

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filed under Main Dish, Side Dish
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    Comments

  • Stephanie @ PlainChicken


    Definitely giving this a try!

  • Zainab @ Blahnik Baker


    You are definitely not alone. I am not big on resolutions either. I indulge a bit and cut back. It’s all about balancing. And I do not give up on taste which is why this Mac and Cheese is making me drool!! Love that it is lighter and still tastes so indulgent! Pinned.

    • Julie Evink


      YES! So true, but I need to work the on the indulging a “little” bit :)

  • Kate@Diethood


    Bring on the garlic – this sounds SO GOOD!! I love my mac ‘n cheese, but a lighter version of it will allow me to have at least one more serving! ;-)

    • Julie Evink


      I like your thinking Kate!

  • Natasha


    mac and cheese,my fav!!

    I would love it if you would share these on my weekly link party – Serenity Saturday at http://www.serenityyou.com/2014/01/serenity-saturday-117.html

    Natasha @ Serenity You

  • LB


    This should be Boil not Bowl, right? :)
    “Bowl for about 3 minutes or until mixture thickens.”

    This looks really good! I will have to make it soon :)

  • Heather @ French Press


    holy YUM Julie – why haven’t I added garlic to my mac and cheese before …duh

    • Julie Evink


      Epic huh?! I don’t know why I didn’t try it before! But I love me some garlic!

  • Chrissy


    Looks yummy! I love your baking dish! Beautiful!

  • Julie @ This Gal Cooks


    Great Mac n cheese recipe, Julie! I’ve done Mac n cheese with cream cheese before. It definitely kicks up the creamy factor! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker


    I am a sucker for mac & cheese and I love the “skinny” version of this. I won’t feel as guilty having seconds. ;) Thanks for sharing Julie and Happy New Year!

  • Trish - Mom On Timeout


    Looks amazing Julie! Loving how creamy it is :) Pinned!

  • Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy


    Oh. Em. Gee. This looks fantastic!! Wow, Julie. You’ve really outdone yourself. Pinned!

  • Cathy@LemonTreeDwelling


    I love how you lightened this up! I’ve never actually made mac & cheese fully from scratch…might be time to change that!

    • Julie Evink


      YES! Start with this recipe….especially if you like some garlic flavor. It was awesome!

  • Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake


    I am all about lightened up comfort food and this mac & cheese looks incredible!

  • Lisa @ Cooking with Curls


    Wow, that Mac & Cheese looks so creamy and delicious ! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Best of the Weekend. :)

  • hillary


    i added spinach and used coconut milk instead of skim! yumm

    • Julie Evink


      Great ways to alter the recipe Hillary!

  • Alison


    I have a question. Is it really only 3 cups of pasta? Doesnt seem like very much. I am actually making it as we speak (waiting for water to boil) and I wanted to ask before I make it! A little last minute, I know :/

  • Jenn


    My goodness. . . I am dying to try this.

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