Sweet and Sour Shell Mac and Cheese

Sweet and Sour Shell Mac and Cheese


Sweet and Sour Shell Mac and Cheese

Bring creamy comfort food back into your life with this mac and cheese that is high in flavor while keeping calories, saturated fat and sodium in check. The trick is whisking together a lightened up Bechamel sauce, with lowfat milk and flour, while skipping the butter. Fresh lemon juice and zest adds flavorful balance to this dish, and is a great way to reduce salt and sodium in your favorite recipes. Fresh orange adds a lovely surprise with fruity notes, not sweet. And if you prefer your mac and cheese extra silky and saucy like I do, feel free to skip the baking and breadcrumbs, and dish directly from the pot.

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Sweet and Sour Shell Mac and Cheese

3 cups medium pasta shells (about 6 cups cooked)
2 1/2 cups lowfat milk
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 lemon, zest finely grated, 2 teaspoons juice
1 orange, zest finely grated, 1 teaspoon juice
1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg (or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground white or black pepper
Cooking oil spray
1/2 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, dried (or use pre-made breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking dish with cooking oil spray. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Whisk the milk and flour in a medium saucepan. Place on medium heat and cook while stirring almost constantly until mixture begins to boil, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the cheese, lemon and orange zests, nutmeg, salt, garlic powder and pepper and stir until the cheese melts completely. Stir in the lemon and orange juices. Combine the cheese sauce and drained pasta. Transfer to the prepared pan.

In a bowl, stir the breadcrumbs while drizzling in the olive oil. Sprinkle the pasta with breadcrumbs and bake 30 minutes, until bubbling around the edges and browned on top.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes 9 servings, about 2/3 cup each

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 278 calories, 9 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 245 mg sodium, 25 mg cholesterol, 36 g total carbohydrate (2 g fiber), 12 g protein, 10% DV iron, 22% DV calcium, 32% DV Vitamin A, 4% DV Vitamin C

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Swedish Turkey Meatballs with Greek Yogurt
Oven-Fried Chicken Nuggets with Maple-Dijon Dip
Bibb Wedge Salad with Creamy Balsamic Blue Cheese Dressing

 

Citrusy Shells and Cheese

Sweet and Sour Shell Mac and Cheese

Sweet and Sour Shell Mac and Cheese

By Michelle Dudash, Chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Published: October 13, 2015

  • Yield: 6 cups (9 Servings)
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Ready In: 60 mins

Bring creamy comfort food back into your life with this mac and cheese that is high in flavor while keeping calories, saturated fat and sodium in check.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking dish with cooking oil spray. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Whisk the milk and flour in a medium saucepan. Place on medium heat and cook while stirring almost constantly until mixture begins to boil, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the cheese, lemon and orange zests, nutmeg, salt, garlic powder and pepper and stir until the cheese melts completely. Stir in the lemon and orange juices. Combine the cheese sauce and drained pasta. Transfer to the prepared pan.
  3. In a bowl, stir the breadcrumbs while drizzling in the olive oil. Sprinkle the pasta with breadcrumbs and bake 30 minutes, until bubbling around the edges and browned on top.

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