>>Easy Holiday Mac and Cheese

Easy Holiday Mac and Cheese


Ease: Easy

Yield: 6-8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Source: Margaret E. Inge

Southeast Dairy Association - holiday mac and cheese
Add festive color and spicy heat to this easy holiday mac and cheese by stirring in chopped red and green peppers. An easy macaroni and cheese recipe you'll return to time and time again.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion, (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups lactose-free 2% milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded white sharp Cheddar cheese (such as Cabot)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch ground red pepper
  • A pinch paprika
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small hot red pepper (fresno), seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small hot green pepper (jalapeño, serrano), seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs

Directions

Heat oven to 375°. Spray 2-quart baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes until almost tender; add cauliflower in the last 2 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.

Whisk 1/2 cup milk and flour together and add to saucepan with bay leaf. Whisk in remaining 1 cup milk. Increase heat to medium-high and, bring to boil while stirring and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese, salt, red pepper, paprika, ground pepper, and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook, stirring until melted and combined. Stir in half of the red pepper and half of the green pepper.

Turn off heat and stir in pasta and cauliflower. Spread macaroni mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with remaining red and green peppers.

Turn off heat and stir in pasta and cauliflower. Spread macaroni mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with remaining red and green peppers.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and edges are bubbling.

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