How to Easily Prepare Delectable Italian Baked Mac and Cheese

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Christina Flores

· 2 min read

Healthy Food Recipes: Italian Baked Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 6-8


  • 12 oz. whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (optional)

Steps to Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Spread the mac and cheese mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and the panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  10. Remove the baked mac and cheese from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Garnish with the chopped fresh basil, if desired.

Cook’s Note:

  • For a creamier texture, you can add 1/4 cup of low-fat ricotta cheese to the cheese sauce in step 4.
  • To make this dish even healthier, you can use whole-wheat breadcrumbs instead of panko.
  • If you prefer a spicier version, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the cheese sauce.
  • This dish can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.

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About Christina Flores

Hi, I am Christina Flores, author of I'm passionate about creating delicious and nutritious recipes to help people lead healthier lives. Join me on this culinary journey as we explore the world of healthy eating together!