Pureed cauliflower and carrots add wonderful creaminess to the sauce in this lightened up version of mac and cheese.
- 1 tsp salted butter
- 1/3 cup(s) panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 head(s), large uncooked cauliflower, (2 lbs)
- 4 medium uncooked carrot(s), thinly sliced
- 1 cup(s) fat free reduced sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup(s) Weight Watchers Reduced fat whipped cream cheese spread
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 cup(s) Weight Watchers Reduced fat Mexican style blend shredded cheese
- 1 1/2 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 8 oz uncooked macaroni
- 2 spray(s) cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large saucepot of salted water to a boil.
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat; add panko and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 4 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and let cool; stir in Pecorino and set aside.
Cut 3 cups small florets from cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower (including stem) into 2-inch pieces. Add cauliflower pieces and carrots to boiling water; cook until very tender, 10–12 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine broth, cream cheese, mustard, 1/4 c Cheddar, Gruyère, salt and pepper sauce in a large blender. With a large slotted spoon, transfer cooked vegetables to blender; puree into a creamy sauce.
Add pasta to same pot of boiling water; cook half the time of package directions, adding reserved cauliflower florets during last minute of cooking. Drain pasta and cauliflower; return to pot and stir in pureed sauce.
Coat a 2 1/2-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray; spoon pasta mixture into prepared pan in an even layer. Sprinkle dish with remaining 1/4 c Cheddar and reserved crumb mixture; bake until golden on top, 25–30 minutes.
Serving size: 1 c
- Add extra cooked cauliflower florets to the pasta mixture if you desire.