Light ‘n Creamy Mac ‘n Cheese

MacNCheese

It’s back to school, and that means back to fending for myself! And no access to a grill (sad face). But that won’t stop me from eating delicious food! I take it as a wonderful opportunity to try making new things that my family would otherwise avoid. The first on my list of new meals for the new school year: Light and Creamy Mac ‘n Cheese. My mom would never choose to make mac ‘n cheese for dinner because it’s too heavy and there isn’t enough protein or veggies. I would usually agree with her, however, I found this delicious and light version of a creamy homemade mac ‘n cheese. A side of vegetables that have been roasted with garlic, salt and pepper adds color to the plate and completes the meal.

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Ingredients

  • 10 ounces rotini pasta
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced fat milk
  • 8 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside
  2. Preheat broiler to high
  3. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan and cook 3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently. Stir in one cup chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups stock, milk, and flour. Stir with a whisk until flour dissolves.
  5. Add milk mixture to garlic mixture, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil and then cook for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove mixture from heat and add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper.
  6. Add cooked pasta to milk mixture, tossing to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour pasta into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle cheddar evenly over pasta mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. (makes 6 servings)

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The Frugality

I have to warn you, this recipe makes A LOT of food. The plus side is that it keeps well in the fridge, so it’s perfect to have as a lunch the next day or to save for a night you don’t feel like cooking. Usually I am not a fan of left over mac ‘n cheese, but this mac ‘n cheese tastes almost as good reheated as it does fresh out of the oven.

So here is the break down of the cost:

The recipe cost me about $6.23. I’ve gotten six meals out of it, making each meal only $1.04! That’s about the same, if not less than, a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese. And, might I add, this tastes way better than that processed powdered cheese. If you decide to complete the meal by adding roasted vegetables (i.e. broccoli and red bell pepper) it only adds about $1.33 to the cost of each serving.

A quick side note; all of the groceries for this meal were purchased at a Walmart Superstore. If you have not tried shopping at one yet, I highly recommend it. The prices are amazing and the food is of the same quality as a generic grocery store. Believe me when I say, it will save you a lot of money.

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