Rocco's Low-Cal Macaroni and Cheese

With a Crusty Crunch

Roccos Low Cal Macaroni and Cheese
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

"Of all the dishes that were suggested for this book, mac 'n' cheese came up most often. Everyone loves it—and everyone knows how nutritionally bad it can be. Calories start at 600 per serving and go into the thousands. It's a dish that has become so rich that taming its fatty side proved to be quite a challenge. The base of the sauce in this version isn't cream, but a puree of cooked onions and garlic. It gives the dish lots of flavor with not so much as a gram of fat. The very hot oven makes the breadcrumbs on top get nice and crunchy. It's the combination of crisp and gooey textures that makes this a winning dish."

-Rocco DiSpirito, "Now Eat This!"


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup Onion-Garlic Puree (Click here for the recipe.)
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup shredded 50% reduced- fat cheddar, such as Cabot
  • ¹/³ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, such as Ian's All-Natural
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray an 8×8- inch baking dish with cooking spray, and set it aside.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, 7 to 9 minutes; drain.

    While the pasta is cooking, bring the Onion- Garlic Puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in the cheddar until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the yogurt.

    In a medium bowl, toss the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce to coat thoroughly. Season with salt to taste. Pour the macaroni into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle the panko over the top. Top with the Parmigiano- Reggiano.

    Bake until the cheese has melted and the macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


    Before After

    Fat 32g 6.5g

    Calories 670 227

    Protein: 16g | Carbohydrates: 29g | Cholesterol: 20mg

    Fiber: 3g| Sodium: 487mg

    Food styled by Karen Pickus.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: pasta, garlic, onions, cheese

    Course: Dinner, Main Course, Lunch, Party Platter, Pasta, Brunch

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