Skillet Mac and Cheese

Serving mac and cheese in the skillet it's baked in amps up the homey comfort factor. The secret ingredient in this bread crumb-topped beauty is the finely chopped cauliflower that blends in subtly with the pasta. Using three different cheeses guarantees maximum flavor and meltability.

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Prep: --
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YIELD: Serves 6
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) whole-grain elbow macaroni, cooked for 3 minutes less than the package directions (about 3 cups cooked)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
recipe tools

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower into a steamer basket fitted over the pot, cover, and steam until just tender, about 5 minutes. Finely chop the steamed cauliflower.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and oil.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheddar, Gruyere, mustard powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Whisk until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped cauliflower and macaroni and stir until well coated.

Spray an ovenproof 10-inch high-sided skillet with cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the prepared skillet. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, place on a baking sheet, and bake until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.

Serving size: 1 1/4 cups

Per Serving: Calories 360; Total Fat 14 g (Sat Fat 8 g, Mono Fat 4.7 g, Poly Fat 0.8 g); Protein 20 g; Carb 40g; Fiber 5 g; Cholesterol 40 mg; Sodium 540 mg

Excellent source of Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Vitamin C

Good source of Copper, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Zinc

BEFORE:
540 CAL.

Sat. Fat 20g, Chol. 195mg
Fiber 1g, Sodium 940mg

AFTER:
360 CAL.

Sat. Fat 8g, Chol. 40mg

LIGHT-AND-CRISP WHOLE-WHEAT BREAD CRUMBS:
Homemade bread crumbs are one of those "chef's secrets"—important but often overlooked detail that can make a dish. These easy-to-make crumbs are flaky, mild, and versatile—they don't have that heavy whole-wheat taste and dense texture that most store-bought brands have. Since bread crumbs are a comfort-food cornerstone used in everything from cutlet coatings to casserole toppings, it's key to have the best.

4 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread (about 1 ounce each)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in a food processor and process until fine crumbs form, 25 to 30 seconds. Place the crumbs on a baking sheet, spreading them evenly. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Store the bread crumbs in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 1/3 cups bread crumbs or 4 servings

Reprinted with permission from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger, copyright (c) 2011. Published by Wiley.

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