Josh's Rehabbed Baked Macaroni and Cheese

You'll Love This Healthier Version

GMA Recipes
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Leafy green vegetables and whole grain pasta keep this dish guilt-free.


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 strips turkey bacon
  • 1/2 cup minced shallot
  • One 10-ounce package frozen leaf spinach or kale, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-fat (1%) milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat oven to 425 F. Coat an 8-inch square (2 quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Put large pot of water on to boil.

    Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the skillet and heat until hot. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Let cool.

    Heat 1 3/4 cups milk in a saucepan set over moderate heat until hot. Whisk together remaining milk and flour until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking, until lightly thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in Cheddar, a little at a time, until melted, ricotta, Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and cayenne.

    Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, or until very al dente. (It will continue to cook in the oven.) Drain pasta, add to the cheese sauce and stir to combine well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish and spoon spinach or kale on top. Chop bacon, sprinkle over spinach and top with remaining pasta.

    Combine breadcrumbs, paprika and remaining oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta. Bake until golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serves 4.

    Nutritional Information (per serving)

    Calories: 414

    Saturated Fat: 6 g

    Sodium: 846 mg

    Dietary Fiber: 5g

    Total Fat: 13 g

    Carbs: 44 g

    Cholesterol: 37 mg

    Protein: 32 g

    Calories from Fat: 117 cal

    Trans Fatty Acid: 0 g

    Total Sugars: 9 g

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Recipe courtesy Danny Boome.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: shallot, spinach, turkey bacon, ricotta

    Course: Casserole

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