Lightened-Up Macaroni and Cheese

There’s nothing as comforting as macaroni and cheese on a cold night. This excellent recipe is very flavorful, despite the low-fat content. Be sure to use extra-sharp cheese.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hourDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1⁄2 cups skim milk
  • 1⁄2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup shredded nonfat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1⁄3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook 8 minutes; drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1⁄2 cup milk. Add remaining milk and stir with wire whisk. Add milk mixture to saucepan; cook and stir until thickened. Add ricotta and mustard and stir to blend.
  • Add Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and cook, stirring, until cheeses melt. Add cooked macaroni, and pour into 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Sprinkle over macaroni mixture. Bake until bread crumbs are browned and casserole is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.