Weight Watcher's Macaroni and Cheese

 Shh... the secret ingredient to this creamy macaroni and cheese is some canned pumpkin!  My kids probably wouldn't have even tried this recipe if I had told them what was in it but they all gobbed it right up.  

After they had already told me how much they liked it, I admitted to adding the pumpkin in and they all pretty much shrugged their shoulders and told me they couldn't taste it.  I love sneaking in extra vegetables to their diet.  



Even on the new PersonalPoints plan this meal is just 4 points for me!  I typically serve it with a large salad or some steamed broccoli.

Ingredients: Makes 8 servings

1 16 ounce box Barilla whole grain 100% whole wheat elbows

1 container Laughing Cow creamy light swiss spreadable cheese (all 8 wedges)

1 cup (8 ounces) unsweetened almond milk

1 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup Libby's Pure Pumpkin canned pumpkin 

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 Tablespoon Brummel & Brown yogurt spread

1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs 


In a large pot boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.

While water is heating/ pasta is cooking: use a small sauce pan and combine all three cheeses with the milk.  Over medium heat melt the cheeses into the milk and then stir in the pumpkin. Add in garlic salt and Italian seasoning (in these photos I added the seasonings in with the milk and cheese-- it really doesn't matter).   Just make sure to stir frequently so no cheese sticks to the bottom of the pan and keep heating until you have a nice smooth cheese sauce. 





In a separate container melt the yogurt spread and mix with the breadcrumbs; set aside for later.


When pasta is done you want to set aside a cup or so of the cooking water just in case you need to thin out the cheese mixture.  Combine the cooked and drained pasta with the cheese sauce and add in some pasta water if it's needed.  I used probably a 1/2 cup of water to get the consistency I liked.

Then spread the macaroni and cheese into a 13 x 9 baking dish that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray.  Top with breadcrumb mixture.



Bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and bubbly; for us this was about 15 minutes. 


It is so good!


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Comments

  1. This sounds SO GOOD-thanks for sharing- can't wait to try it!

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  2. Ohhhh this sounds amazing! Mac and cheese is one of my very favorite foods, and I love that you can make it a little healthier with the pumpkin! I'll have to try this!

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    Replies
    1. That's what I thought when I first made it too; I love making meals just a bit healthier whenever I can.

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  3. I love the addition of pumpkin. I would've never thought to add that to make it healthier. I'm definitely going to try this.

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  4. I LOVE mac n cheese. Adding a healthy squash would be really good!

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    1. It was so good and I don't mind making it more than just occasionally now.

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  5. OHH MY GOSHHH - this sounds amazing!! I've been looking for a good Mac & Cheese recipe for Thanksgiving - I need to save this.

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    1. It wasn't until I started blogging that I had ever heard of serving mac and cheese at Thanksgiving! My boys would have loved that option when they were growing up.

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  6. This looks delicious!! And sounds amazing!

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  7. That sounds wonderful. We just bought some mac n cheese with cauliflower instead of the macaroni, and I bet I could do that with this too!!
    OOXX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  8. This looks absolutely incredible! I always use whole-grain whole wheat pasta, sometimes I’ve even been using the stuff that is not actually pasta and it tastes just the same it’s a quinoa blend from Trader Joe’s.

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    1. I love my whole wheat pasta and I'm so glad that my husband and boys don't mind it either! It makes it so much easier to make one meal for us all.

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  9. We love macaroni cheese in our house. Yours looks very yummy and glad it went down well with the canned pumpkin. I definitely would never have thought of adding something like that to a macaroni cheese but always good to get some hidden veg in! #MMBC

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    1. I love sneaking in veggies; I always fess up after the boys have tried it and they usually tell me their honest opinion. They loved this enough that they asked me to make it again.

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  10. Interesting with pumpkin in it - never would have thought to try that. I have been looking for different ways to make macaroni and cheese as it's one of my favorites, but I want to cut back a little on the carbs. Pinned this for later.

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  11. We like using the whole wheat pasta too. This mac and cheese recipe looks like a winner. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a nice weekend Joanne.

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