Macaroni and Cheese

I have never met anyone who did not love macaroni and cheese. There is simply nothing more comforting or soul satisfying than a dish of macaroni baked in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce covered in a crusty layer of baked cheese.

Macaroni and cheese it is said had its origins in China and was brought to Italy by Marco Polo.  In the eighteenth century, this dish in one form or another became popular in Europe and the colonists from England brought along their recipes to North America.  If the folklore is correct, this dish became popular after it was served during a White House dinner under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson in 1802. Since then, recipes for various versions of macaroni and cheese appeared in many American cookbooks and remain a mainstay today, on American dinner tables.

The simplicity of this dish is only part of its charm.  I don’t need anything fancy like imported ham or cheeses, or a bit of truffle to place a smile on my face. The basic macaroni and cheese dish is still the best hands down.

My personal favorite is a Paula Deen version that is creamy, cheesy and just plain delicious. It is also just plain fattening! Paula does not hold back on the butter, cream and cheese. The problem for me is that I can’t control my portion when eating macaroni and cheese. I always seem to be returning for just one more bite.

I have been enjoying a new food blog called Cookin Lean Like Paula Deen
Lindsay has been taking on the task of creating lighter versions of the fabulous Paula Deen’s recipes. Lindsay tackled Paula’s recipe for Creamy Macaroni and Cheese and I could not resist trying this recipe out for myself. The results were excellent. Lindsay does a really good job of keeping the creamy, cheesy texture alive while reducing the amount of fat and calories. I am now replacing my traditional Paula Deen recipe with Lindsay’s lighter version.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
 (Adapted from Paula Deen)
4 cups cooked Whole Wheat elbow macaroni, drained
16 oz  1 % milk fat cottage cheese
4 egg whites, beaten
1/2 cup fat free or light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low fat milk
16  oz Velveeta Cheese, cut into cubes
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After the macaroni has been boiled and drained, add Velveeta cheese,  cottage cheese, egg whites, sour cream and salt to the hot pasta and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour into casserole dish, top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.
Bake for 30-45 minutes.

69 thoughts on “Macaroni and Cheese

  1. How wonderful for someone to have taken the time to create a full-flavor mac and cheese without so much of the fat. I personally don't think you can beat Velveeta for mac and cheese. I've tried, oh I've tried. But never been successful. Nice blog you have here. I'll be back!


  2. Thanks for sharing, Velva! Macaroni and cheese truly is one of those wonderful, cold-weather comfort foods, and one you've encouraged me to try making again soon! I never would have thought that some of those ingredients in your recipe would be used in a classic mac 'n' cheese, but I love the fact that someone's come up with a guilt-free way to enjoy the dish!Thanks, by the way, for the comment on my blog! I hope you'll stop by again for some of the Scandinavian-inspired recipes I'm thinking about!


  3. I was watching Rachel Ray's show last week where she made macaroni cheese. I was salivating! Then, I forgot about it, but now, you've made me crave for it again. Yummy!! Thanks for reminding, I'm so gonna try making this soon. 😀


  4. Hello Velva, thats such a great combination of ingredients. I love the use of Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream, what an amazing flavor that would make… I will save this one for the next time i baked mac n cheese for my hubs and little girl…


  5. My mom burned me out on mac n cheese when I was young, and I just made a version this past September, and now I am ready for a bowl of yours!You should submit it to 5 Stars Mac n Cheese thingy…I apologize for forgetting what it is called, I am trying to thaw out from my long cold trip this past week!


  6. *hangs head* I abhor cheese… So I actually try not to breathe when I make my kids Mac&Cheese (Kraft. Gasp!) It's interesting you thought it came from China since there's a joke amongst Chinese about how pizza originated from China when Marco Polo went home with scallion pancakes in his luggage… 😉 Anyway, when I flew home with the boxed Mac&Cheese for the kids (so they wouldn't starve), my dad was intrigued. He ended up eating most of the mac&cheese while my kids opted for white rice…


  7. Mac & cheese is literally my favorite food on earth. I could eat it every day, especially my mom's version. Its to die for! I love the idea of the cottage cheese here and also that you've used whole wheat mac. It looks spectacular!


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