Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (2024)

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (1)


Rating: 5 stars


This is a fantastic recipe! It wasgooey and creamy just like comfort food. My husband who is picky about mac and cheese, even liked it. My squash was almost 2 lb's and I used it all, which made the cheese flavor a little less noticeable but it still tasted like and had the texture of cheese. I also increased the yogurt to 4 oz and used vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. I like the idea of adding abit of mustard and next time I'll try a smoked cheddar. It kept well as leftovers for lunch the next day too.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (2)


Rating: 4 stars


Great mac recipe - the squash adds color, creaminess and lots of nutritional value. I did sub in sharp white cheddar for the Gruyere, just personal preference.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (3)


Rating: 5 stars


I improvised a bit on this using some ingredients from another one of Cooking Lights mac n' cheese recipes. I'm not fond of Greek yogurt so I used cream cheese in its place (this comes from the other recipe). I also didn't use the cheeses listed because I had others on hand. I used sharp cheddar, pecorino romano and parmesan/romano. I didn't measure any of the cheeses, just added until I felt it tasted right. I also added 2-3 tbsp. of Dijon mustard to counteract some of the sweetness of the squash. The hubby loved it and so did I.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (4)


Rating: 2 stars


I like pecorino romano, but it overpowered this dish. Also, it came out very dry for me. I wasn't overly impressed.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (5)


Rating: 3 stars


I can see this being a good option for getting kids vegetables in their mac and cheese, but this still doesn't fit the bill as a replacement mac and cheese dish. I used 1/4 cup more milk per other reviewers' suggestions, and used sharp cheddar in place of the gruyere. I cooked it for 20 minutes, with the broiler on for the last 3 or so to crisp up the top. It was fine, but not amazing. The texture was a little bit funky/grainy because of the squash. I think I'll still keep looking for a keeper low fat mac and cheese recipe.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (6)


Rating: 4 stars


Awesome flavor! My only challenge is living at 9300 feet. Ooooweeee did it dry out. Welcome suggestions on how to prepare at high altitude. Maybe more creamier cheeses like havarti?

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (7)


Rating: 5 stars


This was insane! Swapped out the chicken stock for vegetable stock and used smoked gruyere instead of regular. Best Mac and Cheese I've ever made. My daughter insisted on seconds.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (8)


Rating: 4 stars


Really tasty! I broiled it for the last few minutes to get the breadcrumbs brown and crispy.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (9)


Rating: 5 stars


I took advice from some reviewers before me and used less pasta ( wheat rigatoni) and I added a half a cup of milk. I used 2 cups of an italian cheese mix. I also added italian seasoning to the bread crumbs and kept the casserole covered up until the last 10 minutes. It was very moist and delicious!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (10)


Rating: 5 stars


I made this today and it's awesome. Regular mac and cheese is too rich for me but this is a perfect balance of cheesy and creamy without being too heavy. I didn't pan fry the panko at the end, I just sprinkled it on top and it browned in the oven. And I topped it with chives from my garden and some cubed roasted squash that was extra from the sauce (I roasted it on cookie sheet in with & while the pasta was baking). Excellent recipe!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (11)


Rating: 5 stars


I couldn't find gruyere cheese at my supermarket, so I used a combination of a couple cheeses I had on hand; shredded mozzarella, garlic and herb cheddar, and shredded cheddar jack. I also used half a head of garlic, and added cheyenne, paprika, and seasoning salt, because I didn't have chicken broth. I thought this recipe was amazing, and really rich. I made it with the new Barilla veggie pasta, specifically the penne. This recipe is a great guide, and open to a lot of variation depending on you and your family's taste!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (12)


Rating: 5 stars


Excellent! I made it using brown rice pasta. The starchiness of it added to the creaminess.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (13)


Rating: 5 stars


This was really good. I added extra garlic and maybe a half a cup more butternut squash, plus I used 2% milk. Otherwise, I followed the recipe. It turned out spectacular. I actually had a ton of sauce versus the other reviewers who said it was too dry (however, I used an immersion blender, so I didn't lose any liquid from transferring from pot to pot). Toasting the panko breadcrumbs and cheese in a pan added a nice crunch -- in fact, even leftovers in the fridge tasted crunchy. The leftovers were amazing (even cold) since the cheese didn't harden with the addition of the squash. Super creamy and delicious...I prefer this to many full-fat options that I've made! This will definitely make the regular rotation!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (14)


Rating: 5 stars


This recipe was so unusual I had to try it. It turned out amazingly good. A few things different. I used a public box of frozen mashed butternut which was 12 oz, and used 4 oz extra milk to make up the 16 oz difference. I also used less pasta (maybe 3/4 box?) Because I love mine saucy. I freshly grated my cheese. I heated up the squash mix as directed and skipped the blender step. I will definately make again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (15)


Rating: 5 stars


Made last night with a few changes. Made about 2/3 of the milk/broth/squash and about 1/2 lb pasta; used sharp cheddar instead of gruyere; added a pinch of cayene and 1/2 tsp mustard with the salt and pepper. Added the mixture to the hot pasta, and (as starches do) the pasta absorbed the sauce as it cooled. Topped with a little more cheese. Covered while baking, since sauce had already been absorbed. GREAT flavor! Can't think of any reason it wouldn't work with quinoa pastas. And may try it with canned pumpkin next time instead of the squash!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (16)


Rating: 4 stars


Also tried with the pureed butternut squash and recommend it for time savings as well - was really fantastic! Don't cut out the garlic, that made the dish.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (17)


Rating: 5 stars


Delicious!! After reading many of the reviews, I'm sure I made one little change no one else tried... I used a can of Whole Foods' organic puréed butternut squash. So no blenders (immersion or otherwise) needed. It wasn't my idea. I gave the recipe to my daughter and she made it before I did. I mixed and heated all the same initial ingredients, including crushed garlic instead of whole, and just followed the recipe. I did add a little dry mustard and nutmeg, which I've always put in my mac & cheese. I used whole wheat bowtie pasta, and whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs. I'll definitely be making this again... and so much easier than make a roux and bechamel! And even easier since I didn't have to move from the pot to the blender to a bowl. I added the other ingredients, cheeses and the pasta to the heated mixture in the same pot.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (18)


Rating: 5 stars


Have made this several times for different crowds and everyone always LOVES it, even little kids. No one knows there's butternut squash in it unless I tell them. Almost any cheese works. I puree in the pan with an immersion blender and then again after adding the cheese until the sauce is silky smooth. The true secret is in cooking the squash with chicken stock and garlic. It adds so much flavor ... yum!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (19)


Rating: 5 stars


I just made this and it was a hit! I substituted a cup of canned pumpkin puree for the squash to make it easier. I also increased the garlic and sauteed it in a little olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients for step 1 to the same pan. I then skipped the blending in step 2, and continued as written, using the same pan. Much less work and less to clean! To make it a meal, I added in shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken before baking. I also skipped browning the panko in a pan and turned on the broiler for a few minutes at the end of cooking, as other reviews have suggested. To really make it taste special, I also drizzled a little truffle oil over the top just before serving. My husband LOVED it, and even requested it for Thanksgiving!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (20)


Rating: 5 stars


My family LOVED this recipe! I will admit up front that I used cheeses that I already had on hand in my fridge, but I used the same total amount that the recipe called for. I used a combo of swiss, monterey jack, and asiago cheeses. I also used a couple tips I saw already posted in the reviews... used my stick blender to blend the cooked butternut squash, and I skipped pre-toasting the panko crumbs, and simply turned the broiler on at the end of baking for 1-2 minutes. Worked perfectly! I only made 1/2 the recipe, but wish I'd made the full recipe. My daughter wanted it in her lunch tomorrow, and my husband wanted more! Can't wait to make it again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (21)


Rating: 5 stars


This is a great recipe,perfect way to get veggies into your kids and grandkids. They loved it. I sometimes substituted swiss and/or colby for the cheese. Any of these work in this recipe.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (22)


Rating: 5 stars


I thought this was excellent. I will definitely be making this again. Based on other reviews, I baked the mac and cheese for 5 minutes only just to heat the bread crumbs on top. It was not dry at all. I also used a little extra gruyere because i didn't want to have any left over cheese. Overall, this was a great recipe.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (23)


Rating: 4 stars


This is my second time making it. The first time I just used Swiss cheese, not the expensive Gruyere. This time I went with cheddar because it was in the fridge. I made a batch and froze the leftovers in small batches for my little one. She loves it, and my husband enjoys it too. It's creamy and a little sweet. To save time, I cube up the squash on a weekend when I have more time and prepare the mac n cheese the night before we plan to eat it. The day of, I take it out of the fridge after work, let it sit for a bit and toss it in the oven to reheat.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (24)


Rating: 4 stars


it is good but mine came out a little dry

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (25)


This is the best lightened mac-and cheese recipe I have found, by far. It is a dead ringer for the original. I did not use the same cheeses though - I used sharp cheddar for the Gruyere and parmesan for the Romano, plus a little light cream cheese, and I only used 14 oz of cavatappi. It was very creamy. Also, my husband detests butternut squash, but he happily ate this.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (26)


Rating: 5 stars


We thought this was great. Easy way to trick boys into eating vegetables, and no problems with grainy-ness, evenness, or reheating.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (27)


Rating: 5 stars


I love this dish! The last time I made it, I put everything together and froze half of it (it freezes very well). The frozen dish came out much creamier because I did not bake it, just heated it up in the microwave. In the future, I will skip the last part.....

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (28)


Rating: 5 stars


This was the most amazing mac & cheese EVER!!! Hubby pigged out, making yummy sounds the entire time. Haha! I used penne rigate instead of he cavatappi. Can't wait for leftovers tonight! Ten pts of warm coziness!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (29)


Rating: 4 stars


This was really delicious and easy to make. However, I noted that it was not too creamy inside. I took it out of the oven, covered it with foil and allowed it to sit for 15 minutes before the other entrees were ready to be served. I think the next time I make it, I will add the entire 20z package of butternut squash and use 1 and 3/4 cup of milk, and maybe a little extra low fat cheese. But otherwise, I can't wait to finish serve the leftovers a couple more times this week.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (30)


Rating: 4 stars


I made this for Thanksgiving this past year and everyone loved it. I didn't want to use the more expensive cheeses on a mac & cheese recipe so I substituted low fat cream cheese for the Gruyere and then added grated Parmesan instead of the other two cheeses. Everyone loved it and even normally picky kids said they liked it better than regular mac and cheese. I will definitely make this again!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (31)


Rating: 5 stars


I made this as a cooking demonstration at my church's fall festival. The adults and the kids loved it. I was surprised how savory it was and so much healthier than regular mac-n-cheese. I also served it to company with pork chops but it could easily be your main dish. The recipe goes together quickly once you get the squash chopped and heated with the milk. You can boil the pasta while you are heating the squash. Freeze before the last step (baking) and it also turns out great.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (32)


Rating: 5 stars


This is delicious! I used 2 boxes of frozen butternut squash puree to save time. It came out wonderfully. I added a little nutmeg for flavor to compensate for the frozen squash. Yum Yum.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (33)


Rating: 5 stars


This is a great recipe. I made it for my husband and he suggested I make it as part of our Christmas Eve dinner but not to tell anyone that it is a light recipe with the butternut squash. I served it with a baked ham to rave reviews. Then I told everyone the reduced calories and ingredients. My great nephew, who is 13 years old, asked his mother to get the recipe from me. I'd call that a Cooking Light success. I do suggest using a food scale instead of just measuring the cheese and squash. I think it keeps the recipe accurate. I had enough of the ingredients to make another recipe for New Year's. By the way I prepared the recipe the night before and did not bake it until I wanted to serve it on the holiday. I even adjusted the baking time so I could bake it with ham at 325 degrees. I had it in the oven for about an hour and it came out fine.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (34)


Rating: 5 stars


I've now made this several times. It has NEVER been dry! I've used both previously peeled and cut squash as well as fresh, and it has come out fine either way. I will say that using frozen squash can produce a more bland dish.....there's something about the fresh stuff! The first time I made it I used an ounce of ementhaler (since I couldn't find enough Gruyere) and it was really delicious--better than when I used just Gruyere. Using the cheeses specified in the recipe produces a very rich flavor.....I found already grated Parm-Reggiano and Romano-Pecorino at my local grocery store and they worked fine, although the Parm/Reggiano cheese is a little pricey. The Panko/parmesan topping gives the dish a quick burst of cheese flavor with every bite. My husband loved this, especially when I added lobster meat to it as a special treat for my Maine-born spouse. I even tripled the recipe and made it for men at a homeless shelter.....more nutritious than high-fat mac and cheese.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (35)


Rating: 5 stars


This was wonderful! I didn't find it dry at all like some other reviewers. I cooked the squash in my large stock pot so was able to use an immersion blender to blend--then just threw in the cheeses and pasta--no need to mix in a separate bowl. Next time I would undercook the pasta a bit. I might also add in a few more things like a dash of dried mustard and up the garlic in the sauce. My 11 year old daughter ate a huge serving and I felt like I was cheating on WW! It comes out looking very orange, but my daughter who won't eat orange cheese was ok with it because she knew it had squash in it!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (36)


Rating: 5 stars


One word: DELICIOUS! I made this and total faked out my veggie-averse husband and father in law! Score 1 for me. In fact, they commented how delicious the house smelled as I was simmering the squash :) Sneaky sneaky me. This recipe is a keeper and I pretty much stuck to it except maybe being a little more heavy handed with the cheese.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (37)


Rating: 5 stars


Absolutely loved it!!!! Never had mac and cheese like this. I'd never had butternut squash but the taste was amazing. Everyone loved it so will definitely make again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (38)


Rating: 5 stars


My ultra-picky 13 year old daughter (who didn't want to know what the ingredients were while I was cooking) absolutely loved this dish. I had never cut fresh butternut squash before but have since learned some tricks to make that a little easier (i.e. either precooking it a little before trying to cut it or buying it already cut!). I'm making it again tonight per my daughters request. Yummy and healthy!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (39)


Rating: 5 stars



Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (40)


Rating: 3 stars


The squash and broth smelled amazing when simmering, the end product was very good!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (41)


Rating: 3 stars


I liked this recipe but none of the four children I served it to did. Next time I think I would substitute cheddar or american cheese for the gruyere to have a more child-friendly flavor.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (42)


Rating: 3 stars


I was a little weary about making this, it just didn't sound good to me. My mother told me she had made and liked it, so I thought i would give it a shot. I was out of panko, so used regular breadcrumbs and followed the rest of the recipe. I thought it was quite good. Mine was not dry at all and had great flavor. Would definately make again. And definately worth making.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (43)


Rating: 4 stars


My boyfriend and I loved this version of mac and cheese. Preparation was pretty easy, only because I used two packages of frozen pureed butternut squash. I put the broth, milk, and garlic in a pan and put the two chunks of frozen squash in there and let it defrost and combine. This, added to the fact that I omitted the panko altogether, definitely cut down on prep effort and time. Once I added the cheese to the mixture, I was really afraid the sauce would be too watery in the oven. (We used cheeses we had on hand -- cheddar, swiss, etc.) It thickened up considerably, though, and the end result was delicious. This is a winner in the category of everyday comfort food.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (44)


Rating: 5 stars


The best homemade mac & cheese recipe that I have ever made. It was easy to make and the flavor exceeded my expectations. I wasn't sure what to expect with the butternut squash but it actually gave it a great flavor and the taste was excellent. I highly recommend this recipe and one that I will make for my family again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (45)


Rating: 5 stars


OBSESSED with this butternut squash mac n cheese! Doubled the garlic and had about 4C of cubed squash, cooked it 28 mins; otherwise followed the recipe to a T. Next time I make it (and there will be a next time) I might try some sharp cheddar for more tang. SOOOO GOOOD!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (46)


Rating: 4 stars


Really delicious! I halved the recipe and used sharp cheddar, Parmesan and Feta instead of Gruyere and Romano cheese. I also added some Sriracha to taste to the squash mixture and baked for 20 minutes instead of 25. Not quite as cheesy as regular mac and cheese, but delicious just the same. I served this with a simple green salad dressed in a mustard vinaigrette.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (47)


Rating: 5 stars


LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I have honestly NEVER used squash in anything before and I was so pleased with how this came out! I am the world's biggest fan of mac and cheese and cannot believe how tasty this version was. I will say that 20 minutes was plenty of time and didn't dry anything out. My husband added some hot sauce to his serving and said it was perfect.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (48)


Rating: 5 stars


Very good! Modifications I made: I used whole wheat shell pasta and whole wheat panko bread crumbs. I also used veggie broth instead of chicken broth since I'm a vegetarian. I had a lot of squash so I made some extra, leaving off the bread crumbs and put an uncooked one in the freezer, will add bread crumbs when I'm ready to defrost and cook that one. My toddler also liked this.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (49)


Rating: 5 stars


I was so surprised how good this was. Not as good as the real deal (and I didn't expect it to be - that's not the point of this recipe. I don't know what some of these other reviewers are thinking), but it will definitely now be in the weeknight rotation. Only thing I changed was I used reduced fat Italian shredded cheese mix and parmesan to make it more kid friendly.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (50)


Rating: 5 stars


LOVED this recipe. I made a few small modifications: I did not add salt (since the cheese is already so salty anyways), I added a little extra garlic, and I added 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. I think the nutmeg really made it. My whole family loved it- I will definitely be making this again!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (51)


Rating: 5 stars


This dish is spectacular. It went together really easily, and both my husband and I are looking forward to eating the leftovers throughout the week. We threw in a bit of diced sweet pepper and a minced chili from our garden, and the flavors were very complementary.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (52)


Rating: 5 stars


This recipe was great!! I love Butternut Squash and Gruyere Cheese. It was very creamy and knowing how much fat and calories were eliminated made it even better. My husband liked it also. The only change I made was to add the whole small Greek Yogurt to it so it wouldn't be wasted.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (53)


Rating: 5 stars


I've made this twice now and it's SO delicious. Sure, it takes a bit of work, but I just managed to do it on a weeknight, so it can't be too bad, right? I would suggest slightly undercooking the pasta (I let it boil for 6 min instead of 8 min) so it soaks up some of the sauce into the pasta to finish cooking and doesn't get overly soggy. Even my fiance, who doesn't like squash, is a fan. It freezes and reheats in individual containers really well, which is a huge plus in our busy house.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (54)


Rating: 4 stars


Love this recipe! Try it even if you don't like butternut squash! I used frozen butternut squash and halved the pecorino romano. I put the cheese into the blender along with the pureed squash. I also didn't brown the bread crumbs-just spritzed with olive oil and a little extra parmesan(once I drizzled it with a little butter) My husband loved it and my youngest daughter, who usually doesn't care for mac and cheese, asked if I could make pasta this way all the time!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (55)


Rating: 4 stars


Great texture! My squash came out to be about a cup more than it called for, but i added it anyway. Because of that I think the cheese to squash ratio was a bit off - but I still loved it. Will def make again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (56)


Rating: 5 stars


This is a wonderful - healthy recipe. My kids and husband, all of whom "hate" squash - love it. It's important to use the cheeses listed (although, in a pinch you can substitute asiago for reggiano) for the best flavor. I do not put the crumbs on top and we don't miss them at all - I also use quinoa pasta, which adds protein and does not contain gluten. If you have some left, use it to make a second meal by adding diced ham and broccoli - another big hit!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (57)


Rating: 4 stars


Made for a potluck and everyone loved it, but I made these important changes: cook only 12 oz. pasta & drain. Use same pot to simmer pre-cut and peeled squash (found it in Walmart's produce dept.) in stock, garlic, bay leaf and 1 2/3 cups milk with cover on the pot, and let cool. Remove bay leaf and blend. Then use same pot to mix up with a 2 cup bag of store-brand Italian cheese. Mix in dried Italian seasoning and lemon-pepper, dash of ground red pepper, then turn into baking pan and top with panko and store-brand parmesan. Then MOST IMPORTANT--cover and bake. It was not dry at all because I increased milk and decreased pasta, simmered squash with cover on, and baked with cover on. Delicious!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (58)


Rating: 1 stars


Total disappointment. I've made much better low fat mac and cheese recipes, and much better Cooking Light Recipes. Not only was it not creamy or particularly cheesy, but it was oddly dry. It says to "serve immediately" and that's probably because it started to get a congealed texture to it while I was eating it. Also, it had a nutty, kind of sweet flavor to it, which is not necessarily bad, but is not what I'm looking for in Mac and cheese... Lots of money and effort - I guess I'll eat it, depending on the texture of the leftovers, but I would NEVER make it again...

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (59)


Rating: 3 stars


Great alternative to mac and cheese - based on reviews, I made the following changes: added more milk (maybe 3/4 cup) and 2 tblsp of reduced fat cream cheese. With these changes, we cooked it for the full 25 min and it didn't dry out at all.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (60)


Rating: 2 stars


The night of making this dish, it was pretty delicious (we served it as a side with salmon patties). However, leftovers were not creamy at all, bread crumbs were soft, and the dish was a bit bland. It had a stiff mashed potatoes-quality to it. If you are making this for two people, cut the recipe in half. My husband ate leftovers for 2 days and we still threw half of it out. If you really want to try it, add lots more milk and go by the suggestions of the rest of these folks making comments!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (61)


Rating: 5 stars


I am really amazed at the number of negative reviews on this! Such a delicious, light alternative to traditional, southern-style homemade mac n cheese. It was a bit labor intensive but not bad considering we got two meals out of it (two adults and three children). The taste is subtle and mature, like grown up kid food. You would never guess there was so much squash in there! We used whole wheat penne instead of cavatappi, and a fresh 3 cheese blend (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago) in lieu of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. I also shortened the baking time to 15 minutes and found it quite adequate (watch for the bubbling, just as the recipe said, and you won't over bake it). Make sure you brown the panko well for an extra little taste infusion. My kids scarfed this up, and we'll be adding it to our rotation. No, it doesn't taste like the boxed stuff--it's better!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (62)


Rating: 5 stars


Fantastic! Easy and delicious. You wouldn't even know there was squash in there. I served it with an easy zucchini, yellow squash, onion, pepper and tomato saute! Also, I used slightly more squash, my immersion blender and mixed the sauce with the noodles in the pot I cooked the noodles in, this helped with moisture and cut down on the dishes.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (63)


Rating: 4 stars


Absolutely delicious! I was almost disappointed that I couldn't taste the squash but the flavor is wonderful. This will be part of our regular dinner rotation.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (64)


Rating: 5 stars


We -loved- this. I have never seen my daughters gobble up a Cooking Light recipe so fast (minus the desserts ;))! I did make a few substitutions to suit us: used whole wheat penne, used good Romano and Parmesan for cheaper alternatives to their expensive counterparts, used 1% milk instead of fat free, left out the oil at the end on both the panko and last step, and substituted multigrain cracker crumbs for the panko as I was out. Dee-lish. I would say the serving size could be halved easily if this is for a side dish; I ate the serving as my dinner and was full. As many people have complained, this isn't a wet dish. The sauce firms and adheres to the pasta but the texture is definitely not unpleasant. Add more of the milk and broth if you need a liquid sauce.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (65)


Rating: 5 stars


A hit at our house! I used penne as suggested by the recipe, whole-wheat no less. Everyone loved it. I agree with other reviewers that (even though we did use the cheeses as directed in the recipe) you could alter this to your liking and budget by using your choice of cheese. I tasted it before putting it into the baking dish and only needed to add just a bit more salt.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (66)


Rating: 5 stars


Seriously amazing. And you don't feel guilty eating mac n cheese for dinner because there is an entire butternut squash hidden in there. Don't complicate it! I used 10 ounces of misc cheeses, threw it right in with the squash after cooking and blended with an immersion blender, topped with uncooked panko, and broiled for a couple minutes to crisp it up. Perfection. It only took about a half hour.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (67)


Rating: 5 stars


my boyfriend and i really liked this recipe- you can't taste the sqaush at all, just a nice mellow nutty flavor. i might add a bit more milk in the beginning stages, since after the pasta went in the oven it came out a bit drier than i would have liked. otherwise though, will definitely make again!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (68)


Rating: 5 stars


Very good, added a little extra milk. Both my wife and my son, who hates anything with vegetables in it, declared it a definite do again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (69)


Rating: 4 stars


I thought it was delicious! I subbed some sharp cheddar cheese for some of the gruyere since I had some on hand (and love sharp cheddar!). Like another reviewer I used an immersion blender and cooked everything in my dutch oven to reduce the number of dishes my husband will have to do later :)

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (70)


Rating: 5 stars


This was really yummy. I could not stop eating it before it even came out of the oven! Changes: No yogurt - I subbed ricotta instead. Used bagged grated swiss & GOOD parmesean instead of the other expensive cheeses. I had to add more milk. Next time I will use a whole butternut squash and add more milk as it was VERY dry. I might even just try it with a 2% cheese blend. I think that "hiding" the squash was a great idea for the kids (and husband!). I will be making this again, although is is definitely not a weeknight meal as regular mac & cheese can be. Served with a london broil and roasted brussel sprouts.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (71)


Rating: 5 stars


We made the recipe almost exactly as written and it was amazing! The only thing we did different was use an immersion blender instead of a traditional one (which I think reduces the graininess some people mention) and I may have been slightly heavy handed with the milk (as in I think I added 1 2/3 cups instead of 1 1/2). I thought it was too wet going into the oven but it came out just fine. We had no problem with dryness and the flavor was delicious! I don't share many of the other complaints I see here. We were able to find packages of cheese close to the amount we needed and only spent $10-12. Also, I didn't find that I dirtied more dishes than I usually do when cooking dinner. If you'd call it a hassle to make (which we don't) then we believe it is well worth it. This recipe is a definite keeper in my home!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (72)


Rating: 2 stars


I agree with some of the other comments. Takes way longer than the time on the recipe, dirties a lot of dishes, expensive and EXTREMELY DRY. I tasted the sauce before going into the oven and it was really good and creamy. In fact, I was worried that it would be watery! I should have left it like that, though. After taking it out of the oven, there was no sauce and it was so dry. It didn't even really taste cheesy anymore. I was really bummed.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (73)


Rating: 4 stars


This was a big hit at my house. I used whole milk b/c it was all I had, and used 9 oz of trader joe's cheddar-gruyere blend in place of the gruyere and romano cheeses. Added a bay leaf and some nutmeg to the sauce. I was really worried during the final assembly b/c it seemed so WET-- i thought the whole thing would still be soupy after baking, but it firmed up nicely. 9 year old had NO idea it contained squash, and even asked to take leftovers to school today!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (74)


Rating: 1 stars


I always love my cooking light recipes. But yikes, this was pretty terrible. And it was very expensive to make. My partner and I HATE to waste food. We try hard to eat everything we bring into our home. We got through one serving each, and tried to force feed ourselves another serving the next day, but just couldn't even get through one bite. I threw away the rest. It was really that bad. I would skip this one and move onto another cooking light recipe.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (75)


Rating: 5 stars


Rich and creamy, I LOVED this. My main modification was to sub Swiss for Guyere as it is not only less expensive but also creamier. I blended my pecarino romano and swiss very fine in the VitaMix so it melted very well. I also skipped the panko topping.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (76)


Rating: 2 stars


The butternut squash mixture smelled really good when cooking, but after adding the cheeses it became grainy and gooey. I used pre-shredded gruyere and I think that was a mistake- it was already drier than freshly shredded. Also the romano and parm are not the best melting cheeses, making it grainier than I would have liked. Once baked it was dry too. It was okay, but needs some work. Definitely more milk for creaminess and garlic and pepper for flavor. This isn't traditional mac and cheese and picky eaters may not like the nutty flavors of the squash and gruyere.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (77)


Rating: 5 stars


This was amazing! We are NOT butternut squash fans in this house, you couldn't tell at all. I did use whole, raw milk instead of the lighter version (that's what we had in the house). It was creamy & delicious, even reheated the next day. Loved it. This is the recipe I'll use from now on to make Mac & Cheese!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (78)


Rating: 4 stars


I had some leftover squash from a different recipe and decided it was a good excuse to try this recipe. I had a bit of a head start on it, since my squash was already, well, squashed. I still added the milk, broth, etc. I did cook the noodles ahead of time as directed. I did cut corners money wise by choosing other cheeses. I chose swiss, asiago, and mozzarella. I cooked everything in my dutch oven and then used my immersion blender to create the sauce consistency. Because people were indicating the final product was dry, I decided to add the cooked noodles to my dutch oven and add the cooked panko on top. It's been my experience in the past that if mac and cheese is baked in a dish that is too shallow it can dry out quicker. Not sure if there is any real science to it, however I baked it in the oven as directed and it came out gooey. So, the method seems to have been successful.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (79)


Rating: 2 stars


I tasted this before I put it in the oven and it was incredible. I should have stopped there. When it was done baking, it was dry and there was no sauce left. I will try this again without baking it. The flavors were great other than the dryness.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (80)


Rating: 5 stars


This does not taste like a light recipe-it was creamy and delicious. The combination of cheeses is very flavorful-we loved it and I will definitely be using this recipe the next time we are craving mac and cheese!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (81)


Rating: 3 stars


This is a great recipe, but I agree with some of the other reviews - it is expensive to buy all the cheeses and it does get very dry. However, I've learned that many Cooking Light pasta recipes dry out while baking, so I've learned to add more milk and Greek yogurt to counteract that. Also, the time to prepare is always longer than the recipe says, in this case, due to the butternut squash which is really hard to peel and cut.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (82)


Rating: 5 stars


love, love love this recipe! really good and totally satisfies a mac-n-cheese craving! i would add a little extra garlic and next time i may experiment with some light cheddar or smoked cheeses - but, it's excellent as is!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (83)


Rating: 5 stars


I was skeptical but thought the reduction in calories was definitely a worthwhile reason to at least give this a shot. The only real modification I made was using Swiss instead of Gruyere simply because I have found that in recipes like this, swiss works just fine as a cheaper alternative to gruyere. Additionally, I did add slightly more milk than it called for, but no more than maybe 1/2 cup. As far as personal touches, I did add some peas and crabmeat to the dish to make it more of a main course rather than a side dish. The flavor of the sauce was truly outstanding and while it isn't overwhelmingly cheesy, I love the nuttiness of the squash and swiss cheese. Super good and it sure doesn't taste like it is missing any of those calories. We will most certainly be making the dish again. Oh and I did omit the parsley because I just don't care for it on anything.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (84)


Rating: 5 stars


This is so yummy!! I have been looking for a rich creamy mac and cheese, and this one hits the mark. I love the "grown up" cheese flavor, and the kids just think it is delicious!! I love that it has the butternut squash in it!!!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (85)


Rating: 1 stars


I agree with trajax!!!! My daughter-in-law and I made this together and each served it at our own homes. Both her family and we agree (6 people) that this not rich and creamy!!! It was very bland tasting, expensive to make, and very dry! While we all appreciated having a healthy sauce, it definitly needed some fat to make it richer, and something to make it creamy. I will stick with my nacho and 4 cheese Mac and cheese recipes from BA with my nonfat subs. They are MUCH better!!!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (86)


Rating: 5 stars


We used a pumpkin from our garden instead of the butternut squash - it's all winter squash anyway. Everyone enjoyed it immensely! With 1 lb of frozen pumpkin (I bake it and freeze in portioned containers) we'll have a head start on the preparation and make this all winter. I also used 10 oz. total of assorted cheeses from the fridge - asiago, monteray jack, some irish cheese - very flavorful.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (87)


Rating: 2 stars


I followed the recipe exactly, and got mac and cheese with very little sauce, and too much pasta. The sauce was tasty by itself, but once baked, the dish was dry and neither cheesy or gooey. The pasta was also overcooked. Next time I'd undercook it in the boiling water some before baking, and cut the amount of pasta way down for that amount of sauce. Disappointing, and not worth even the reduced calorie count.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (88)


Rating: 5 stars


This was fabulous - everyone enjoyed it! Very creamy - not dry, but we only used about 3/4 lb. of pasta. Will definitely make it again!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (89)


Rating: 5 stars


The problem with this recipe is that there just isn't enough fat to make it a satisfying Mac and Cheese. That is not to say you need to go all Paula Deen on it! I added 3 tblsps half and half and 1 tblsp butter to the butternut squash mixture. This changed the calories from 390 to about 550 per serving. Still much less than the 930 for a full fat mac and cheese, and the flavor was wonderful and satisfying! Will definitely make again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (90)


Rating: 4 stars


We really enjoyed this recipe. It was a tasty and healthier twist on the mac and cheese. Nevertheless, you will be disappointed if you are expecting this to taste just like mac and cheese. I also think that my cost-benefit analysis was shaped in great part by using (1) peeled and cubed butternut squash (available at Whole Foods); (2) grated Romano and Parmesan cheeses; and (3) an immersion blender. This recipe would have been quite a chore without these shortcuts: still tasty, but a lot harder to make.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (91)


Rating: 1 stars


My family was less than impressed to say the least. My picky eater refused to eat it flat out and even my trash compactor-child didn't want anything to do with it after a couple bites. My guy on the other hand ate it and he doesn't dig mac n cheese. But that might have just been either his good manners, or the bacon and rotisserie chicken garnish I added. Either way, won't be venturing this road again.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (92)


Rating: 1 stars


I was very disappointed with this recipe. It was very expensive to make and came out extremely dry. What a waste of money.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (93)


Rating: 5 stars


A total hit. Yes it was a little involved but worth it to make a mac and cheese that is a bit healthier. made the night before and heated up for dinner in the microwave and it was excellent!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (94)


Rating: 4 stars


Super easy-if you boil the pasta first (you only need to cook it about half the time the package says since they will keep cooking in the oven), then cook the squash in the same pot and use an immersion blender, you've got hardly any dishes. Substituted a minced shallot for the garlic, and used a mix of romano and fontina cheese and a little less pasta than it called for to keep it saucier. I also nixed the topping and mixed in some steamed broccoli at the end. Yum!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (95)


Rating: 5 stars


I loved this! I too was surprised at how the sauce tasted so buttery and cheesy even before I put the cheese in. It did take a while to prepare but I finished it in an hour. I did a few steps simultaneously and that sped up the time. Mine was saucy enough. I will make it again!

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (96)


Rating: 5 stars


Delicious! I added 1.5 cups of frozen peas when mixing the cooked pasta with the cheese mixture.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (97)


Rating: 5 stars


Fantastic. I used an immersion blender. Fewer dishes to wash. I also used Dreamfield pasta which is very low in carbs. It made a big hit at my house.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (98)


Rating: 2 stars


I have to say I was disappointed with this one. I followed the recipe to the tee and found it came out on the dry side, not at all creamy like the recipe says. It took a long time and there were tons of dishes to wash. I liked the butternut squash in it though. Next time I make a mac and cheese I will stick with the real thing.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (99)


Rating: 5 stars


This recipe was very good. However, it did take a very long time to put together and I had a ton of dishes to wash when it was all done. Next time I will make a double batch and freeze some. I added a little bit of nutmeg and it made it taste a little more fallish... would be great with a crisp salad with apples and walnuts in it and some crusty bread.

Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (2024)


What can I use in mac and cheese instead of heavy cream? ›

Whisk together three-quarters of a cup of whole milk with a quarter cup of melted and slightly cooled butter until smooth, and you will have a cup of heavy cream(ish). Or, for creamy texture and flavor — again for non-whipping uses — half and half can be substituted in equal measure for cream.

Why is my mac and cheese never creamy? ›

Pro Tip: Don't use pre-shredded cheese. Many store-bought shredded cheese brands coat their cheese with an anti-caking agent than can make sauces grainy and less creamy. While it requires a bit of an arm workout, grating your own yields the best texture.

Should you use milk or cream in mac and cheese? ›

Use heavy cream but don't add the butter. Heavy cream has fat so use it instead of noth the milk and butter. If you are talking about homemade mac and cheese using heavy cream will make it very rich. You can use heavy cream instead of milk, but I would use a touch of water.

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