Healthy Macaroni and Cheese

Would you believe this is whole foods recipe for macaroni and cheese? The whole wheat rotini and added homemade sweet potato puree make it a cheesy hit at our house.

I start by boiling an entire 1-pound box of whole wheat rotini. Add the recommended salt on the box instructions. Whole wheat noodles taste better with the added salt. When the noodles are done I drain them in a colander and place them back into my stock pot. Then I add the goodies that make it cheesy and good.

In goes milk and butter just like the store-bought kind. I also stir in some added nutrition, which I call sneaky cooking. Shhhh, I mix in 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes I’ve made in advance and frozen. I thaw it the day before I make this macaroni. However, the cold water thawing method will thaw a bag in about an hour. Or I’ve used store-bought baby food. YES, I cheat and use a jar of sweet potato baby food because it’s a puree too. If it’s good for baby it’s good for my other kiddos.

This entire recipe only four minutes longer to cook than a store-bought box of macaroni, but it’s healthier and tastier in my cook book. My kids prefer homemade mac and cheese over the box kind. You should try it on your kids and see how they like it.

Healthy Mac and Cheese

  • 1-pound box whole wheat macaroni, penne or rotini
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup homemade sweet potato puree or 4 oz. store-bought sweet potato baby food puree
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and pour back into the stock pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir and enjoy immediately. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.
My kiddos like leftovers for school lunch the next day. I warm a thermos bottle with boiling water for five to ten minutes. Use your Keurig single serve hot water resource if you have one (that’s what I do). Boiling water from the microwave works too. Then I reheat a single serving of macaroni with one tablespoon of water until hot. I pour the piping hot macaroni into the warmed thermos and the kids have a warm lunch at school. It’s a perfect treat during the cold autumn and winter months.
How do you prepare  macaroni and cheese?
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Comments

  1. I was planning to make mac-n-cheese to go with our fish for tonight. I have some butternut squash puree in the freezer, so guess what will be added to our mac-n-cheese! :P

  2. Could you substitute the sweet potato with pumpkin? Would it alter the flavor a lot?

  3. This reminds me of a recipe I came across recently – http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/mac-&-cheese – it uses butternut squash puree. I’m keen to give it a try but hesitant about the onions and garlic, as I wouldn’t usually put those in cheesy pasta. I’ll probably try yours as well.

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