Macaroni and Cheese with a Crusty Crunch

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:

Macaroni and Cheese

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 0.25 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 0.25 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, such as Ian’s All-Natural
  • salt
  • 0.33 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded 50% reduced-fat cheddar, such as Cabot
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tsp dry mustard
  • 0.5 cup Onion-Garlic Puree, recipe follows
  • 4 Ounce whole-wheat elbow macaroni

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, 7 to 9 minutes; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, bring the Onion-Garlic Puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in the cheddar until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the yogurt.

In a medium bowl, toss the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce to coat thoroughly. Season with salt to taste. Pour the macaroni into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle the panko over the top. Top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake until the cheese has melted and the macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


Onion-Garlic Puree

  • salt
  • 0.5 cup water
  • 9 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine the onion, garlic, and water in a microwave safe bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until it is completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.


Recipe courtesy of Now Eat This!: 150 of America's Favorite Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories by Rocco DiSpirito/Ballantine Books, 2010.