Quick Vegetable Mac and Cheese

Makeover magic yields a healthier dish

Kids will never know this rich, creamy dish is good for them. You can use the cornstarch/fat-free milk combination as the base of any cheese sauce that typically starts with butter and flour.

(makes 4 servings)

8 ounces shell or elbow pasta

3 cups mixed vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, sliced carrots, chopped bell pepper)

1¼ cups fat-free milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese (shredded)

2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese


  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions, adding the vegetables to the water during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, whisk together the milk and cornstarch. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the milk mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the Cheddar and cream cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss to coat well.
Per serving: 427 calories, 12 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 14 mg
cholesterol, 311 mg sodium, 60 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 2 g

Thanks to makeover magic, this family favorite is made healthier by using lighter cheeses and milk.

Published March 30, 2009

Silver Planet Staff

Used with permission from WomenHeart’s All Heart Family Cookbook: Featuring the 40 Foods Proven to Promote Heart Health, by Kathy Kastan and Suzanne Banfield (Rodale Press). WomenHeart is the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

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