Nothing quite says comfort food like mac and cheese.
The combination of carbs and cheese is just absolutely irresistible to me, and I cannot deny it to myself. So to keep myself from indulging on the high fat restaurant versions of mac and cheese, I created this Three Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe that is every bit as decadent as a gourmet version, but for a lot less Points.
By using all whole wheat carbs, I was able to amp up the protein and fiber. And the addition of spinach gives it some added nutrition and flavor.
I wanted this Weight Watchers mac and cheese recipe to have a mild flavor, so I chose fontina cheese as the base, because I like its delicate, slightly nutty flavor. You could definitely substitute that with a light mozzarella or other type of cheese, if you’d like, and get the Points even lower.
The crunch of the Panko on top gives it some added texture and a boost of flavor too.
This is definitely a satisfying serving that leaves you feeling very content and your carb/cheese craving tames…for now at least. :) Enjoy!
THREE CHEESE BAKED MAC AND CHEESE
- 8 oz whole wheat macaroni noodles (uncooked)
- 1 1/2 cups fat free milk
- 1 cups fat free chicken broth (use milk instead if you want to keep this vegetarian)
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1 6 oz bag fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breads crumbs
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions.
- While noodles are cooking, make sauce by whisking together milk and flour in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add in broth and cheeses, and continue to whisk until cheese are melted and sauce is creamy and thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain noodles and return them to the pot. Add the fresh spinach leaves into the hot noodles, and toss until leaves begin to wilt. Pour in cheese sauce and stir well to combine.Transfer to a 13 x 9 baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix Panko with garlic powder, parsley, thyme, and salt & pepper. Sprinkle over top of mac and cheese.
- Place in oven and bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.