Recipe: The Healthier Mac’n’Cheese

I loveeee Mac’nCheese. There’s just something so comforting about soft pasta, silky sauce, and an almost crunchy topping. Possibly mixed with bacon as per my boyfriend’s recipe, maybe with some spices added. I’m wanting to experiment with a fresh-chilli mac after the gorgeous side I scoffed from Mother Clucker. But it’s not the healthiest meal, and as a result it’s saved for a special treat.

 photo 4fb9dacd-00b9-4020-ab50-d1deb97658db_zpsb7644b64.jpgMy version of The Londoner’s one-pan mac is definitely good for saving a few calories, and is probably the healthiest one I’ve found. But it lacks for me what is the best bit, the baked top. I’ve tried baking it but the sauce just solidifies. A couple of tries later, all in the name of research, and now I present you this recipe. Creamy, tangy, cheesy sauce, lightly spiced. Perfectly coated macaroni pasta. And a cheesy top that goes delightfully gooey and crispy. YUM.

 photo 859778e8-1e38-421f-b244-8a332c9c7634_zps48ee24cb.jpgIngredients

  • Pasta – I went for 50g of macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat creme fraiche
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1 small matchbox sized chunk of cheese (i.e. a ‘proper’ serving)
  • A sprinkle of polenta

 photo a91929f3-a68c-4487-a872-255507925aa3_zps1d300b67.jpgFirst off, cook your pasta. You want to slightly undercook it, so chop a minute off the cooking time. Drain, but leave a little water in the pan (just enough to cover the base).

 photo 7ff743b0-1d0c-4a19-af22-5205619048fe_zpse1176bae.jpg photo 25884205-d907-4291-b358-2b830388487d_zps26ac0f16.jpgReturn to a low heat, and add the creme fraiche, mustard, and lots of black pepper. Add 3/4 of the cheese to the sauce, and stir until melted, combined and creamy.

 photo 2b0fd4cb-2388-4c31-bef4-de94f26eff20_zps5ed8dc32.jpgPour into a baking dish, and top with the remaining cheese. Slice it very thinly so it covers the whole dish. Sprinkle lightly with polenta, then bake for 15 or so minutes, until bubbling and golden. Yep – silly me forgot the polenta when I made this to photograph. It tastes damn good without it, just slightly less crispy.

 photo 3bf1c5f6-6442-4dad-a4aa-fbd3b2a55952_zps2e1cf470.jpgServe with a big crunchy salad, and you’ve got a comforting meal without the guilt. And it’s quick, and the pan doesn’t take half as much elbow grease to wash up as a proper cheese sauce. I know what I’m having for dinner tonight…

What’s your favourite meal? Do you have any tricks to make it healthier?

  • This sounds delicious! I love good alternatives to classic “treat” recipes- will certainly have to give this a try.

    • ninegrandstudent

      So do I, depriving myself just makes me want it more and then I have a blow out! x

  • Joanne

    Oh my! This looks so YUM and sounds great! <3 Totally will try this, thanks so much for sharing! Xxx

    http://thoughtsintiffanyblue.blogspot.com/

    • ninegrandstudent

      Let me know how you find it! x

  • I love macaroni cheese, this looks delicious! I may be drooling slightly, I’ll have to give it a try at some point 🙂 xx

    Toasty

    • ninegrandstudent

      Aha, let me know what you think! x

  • Yum yum yum Iuuuuuuuuuv Mac and cheese! And healthy Mac and cheese sounds even better

    • ninegrandstudent

      It really is delicious! x

  • Olivia Boyd

    Mac & cheese is my favourite meal… and this healthy option looks amazing!
    Olivia x
    sunshineinadress.blogspot.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      It’s one of mine too, so glad I have come up with this recipe. It’s quicker than the original too! x

  • this looks so absolutely tasty! I’ll have to try this recipe next time I’m planning to treat myself a little 🙂

    • ninegrandstudent

      Go for it! x

  • Caroline Schurman-Grenier

    This looks AMAZING!!!!!!

    Need to try this. Thank you for posting!

    http://mademoiselleaventure.blogspot.ca

    • ninegrandstudent

      Let me know if you give it a go! x

  • Oooh, Going to make this next week for a few dinners! Comfort food at its finest 🙂 Thanks for posting!

    https://studentpapiere.wordpress.com/

    • ninegrandstudent

      Let me know how you find the recpe! x

  • Pingback: Recipe: Smoked Salmon & Baby Kale Pasta | The Life & Loves of Ninegrandstudent()

  • Pingback: Recipe: How to Make THE BEST Mac’n’Cheese | The Life & Loves of Ninegrandstudent()