Traditional macaroni and cheese can be really heavy and slow to digest due to the high fat content. It tends to make me feel sluggish so I prefer to reduce the added fat when making from scratch. This lighter version uses mostly reduced fat cheese and skim milk to help prevent that sluggish feeling. Whole grain pasta is used to help meet your daily fiber needs and the noodles are not drowning in sauce like so many macaroni and cheese recipes. I do use a little bit of full fat smoked gouda on top to add some smokey cheese flavor and leave you satisfied. Cause who doesn’t like that smoked cheese flavor? You can make this gluten free or gluten full…. the choice is yours. I used whole grain brown rice pasta and rice flour to make mine gluten free, but whole wheat pasta and all purpose flour would work just as well.
16 oz Dry Whole Grain Macaroni
1 Cup Skim Milk
2 Tablespoons Flour or Gluten Free Flour
7 oz Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded*
1/3 Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda*
Cook pasta according to package directions and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm milk in a large skillet over medium heat. After the milk becomes warm, add flour, stirring continuously until the milk thickens. Turn heat down to low/medium and add sharp cheddar cheese, one spoonful at a time, mixing in until each spoonful is melted… your cheese sauce is now ready 🙂 . Spray bottom of a 9×13″ glass pan with cooking spray and add cooked and drained pasta to the pan, spreading out evenly. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and mix to coat. Sprinkle smoked gouda evenly over the top of pasta and cheese sauce. Place in oven and bake for about ten minutes or until gouda is completely melted. Season with a dash of salt and pepper if desired. I added ground black pepper on mine and was very pleased.
*I find it works better when you buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. That way you are only adding cheese and not the extra additives that often come with pre-shredded cheese.