This recipe is derived from the Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese recipe from the Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2014 cookbook as part of my 2017 A Year of Cooking Light Challenge
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Approximate Cost per Serving: $0.75 / plate
Chef’s Note: The hubby and I agree, this is one of the best recipes so far this year and definitely a repeater. While not the healthiest recipe in my challenge, it’s still better than a lot of dinners out there and super cheap to boot, especially when you plan ahead and buy the pasta and cheese on sale (I always get ours BOGO).
- 10 oz small shells pasta
- 2 Tbps canola oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 large (2 tsp) chicken bouillon cube (can sub vegetarian bouillon)
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 oz light cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Medium pot
- Garlic press
- Dutch oven (or large pot)
- Wooden stirring spoon
- 1.5 – 2 qt casserole dish
- Cooking spray
- Fill the medium pot halfway with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside when done.
- Preheat oven under broiler setting to high.
- Heat the Dutch oven over medium heat. While heating, peel the garlic. When heated, add the canola oil and swirl to coat. Press the garlic over the pan and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add 1 cup of water and half (1 tsp) of the bouillon cube. Stir to combine and dissolve the bouillon. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. While waiting for the mixture to boil, combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups of water with the remaining bouillon, milk and flour. Stir with a whisk until well blended. Add this mixture to the Dutch oven. Return to a boil and cook 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the burner. Add the cream cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until smooth. Add the pasta to the Dutch oven and mix to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Coat the casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the mac and cheese into the casserole dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Broil 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Remove and let stand 5 minutes.