Sunday, September 11, 2011

Squashy Mac & Cheese

Upon receiving the September 2011 issue of Cooking Light, I just knew I had to make the cover recipe: Creamy, Light Mac and Cheese (oh, how I love mac and cheese!).

The recipe comes from the magazine's "recipe makeover" section. In this section each month, the Cooking Light staff recreates a classic-but-not-healthy recipe, and cuts down on fat and calories. The classic mac and cheese recipe went from 908 calories and 36 grams of saturated fat in one serving to 390 calories and 6.1 grams of saturated fat.

I really love two things about this recipe: it uses cheese I might not normally use and think of for mac and cheese, and it incorporates butternut squash, which I LOVE.

I followed the recipe very closely, except for a couple of things:
  • I used vegetable broth, rather than chicken broth (I don't quite understand why vegetarian recipes often call for chicken broth when you can easily use vegetable broth ...). 
  • I found a type of Gruyere to use (Compte) from the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe at the Milwaukee Public Market, but I couldn't find the other two cheeses the recipe calls for. At the cheese shoppe, I asked what would be comparable to pecorino Romano cheese, and they suggested a type of cheese called lamb chop. We had some shredded Romano cheese that I used in place of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. (I put all the cheeses in the food processor so that I didn't have to grate everything. It worked really well!)

I think the recipe turned out really well, and was filling without being heavy. I would definitely make it again, and might try different cheeses--a smoky Gouda would definitely be tasty.

After reading through some comments people left at the bottom of the recipe page, I might take some advice and eat the mac and cheese without baking it. I think it would be even creamier this way.


  1. Oh! I'm so glad you made this and liked it; I was eyeing that recipe when I got the new issue, too, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Now, I will DEFINITELY try it as soon as it gets cool again!

  2. Thanks for the comment! Oh yes, if you like mac and cheese, definitely try it! And it's a good idea to make it when it's cool--I didn't realize it was supposed to be about 85 when I planned it for Sunday's meal. My kitchen was quite warm!

  3. I don't get the chicken broth thing either! This looks so good, I'm bookmarking it to make when the weather gets colder!