Mac ‘n Cheese

We give our mac ‘n cheese a nutrition boost by adding pumpkin (for additional fiber and micronutrients) and using Neufchatel cheese and sour cream to reduce the percentage of calories from fat. The result? This recipe is a client favorite and is requested frequently! We hope you enjoy it as much as our clients do.

Note: Neufchatel cheese is a low-fat substitute for cream cheese, which is why we use it. Because of its lower fat content, it does not melt as easily, so blending it solves that and helps make a creamy cheese sauce!

Mac ‘n Cheese
Serves 8

1 oz. olive oil
1 oz. all-purpose flour
8 oz. Neufchatel cheese
12 oz. water
8 oz. 2% milk
6 oz. sour cream (low fat)
8 oz. pumpkin puree
6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
White pepper, to taste
20 oz. elbow macaroni, dry

Combine the Neufchâtel cheese, water, and 2% milk in a blender and puree until the cheese is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, cook pasta per the instructions on the package, and then drain, rinse, and cool. Set aside.

To make the cheese sauce, place a 4-6 quart sauce pot on the stove over medium heat. Once warm, add the olive oil and heat for one minute, then stir in the flour to make a roux. Whisk flour and oil until the consistency is smooth, then add the blended cheese/milk/water. Whisk until well incorporated, then whisk in the sour cream and pumpkin puree. Reduce heat to low, then whisk in the cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. If the mixture gets too thick, whisk in water, a half-cup at a time, until the sauce thins and is easier to stir. Once the cheese is fully melted, stir in the salt and add pepper, to taste.

Combine the cheese sauce and cooked pasta. Serve immediately, or place the mixture into a casserole dish, top with bread crumbs, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving
Calories: 590, Fat: 27g, Sodium, 530mg, Carbohydrates: 60g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 24g