Every member of your family will be satisfied when you serve mac and cheese for dinner. It's also the perfect casserole to take along to any potluck or party. If you want to change up the flavor, read on for variations like Sweet Pea-and-Prosciutto or Ham-and-Broccoli.
1 pound uncooked cellentani (corkscrew) pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups fat-free milk
1 (12-oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded 1.5% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
1 (8-oz.) package chopped smoked ham
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cellentani pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda cheese, next 3 ingredients, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in ham and pasta.
Pour pasta mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir together crushed cereal, 1 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Note: We tested with Barilla Cellentani pasta and Cabot 5% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 5% reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Omit ground red pepper, if desired. Stir 1 (5-oz.) can chopped green chiles into pasta mixture.
Sweet Pea-and-Prosciutto Macaroni and Cheese: Omit ham. Saute 2 oz. thin prosciutto slices, cut into thin strips, in a small skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Stir prosciutto and 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed, into pasta mixture.
Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Stir 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained, into pasta mixture.
Ham-and-Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese: Stir 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and coarsely chopped, into pasta mixture.