Our delicious recipe makes two versions, so you'll need two 6-cup casserole dishes. For the kids, there's a straightforward mac-cheese that's sure to encourage second helpings. For the adults, we've added chopped spinach and a sliced tomato—wonderful foils for sharp cheddar cheese. You can assemble the casseroles a day ahead. Pair the dishes with a crisp green salad.
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- 3 Tbs. shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 4 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry of excess water
- 1 medium-sized tomato, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let flour brown. Add milk, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add cheddar cheese, and whisk gently until smooth.
Add cooked macaroni, and gently stir until macaroni is well coated. Pour half the mixture into one casserole. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour half remaining macaroni mixture into second casserole. Top evenly with chopped spinach. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese. Add remaining macaroni mixture. Place slices of tomato evenly on top, and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese and remaining breadcrumbs. Spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Calories: 450
- Carbohydrate Content: 48 g
- Cholesterol Content: 55 mg
- Fat Content: 18 g
- Fiber Content: 3 g
- Protein Content: 22 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 11 g
- Sodium Content: 510 mg
- Sugar Content: 9 g