Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Enjoy this classic comfort food without the fat and calories. I often make it and freeze individual servings in plastic containers—they’re perfect for the children’s lunches. It’s their favorite pasta dish, and when they prefer it to any of the boxed versions, you know their taste buds are healthier! Feel free to add some vegetables, such as green peas, diced bell peppers or carrots.

1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Spray an 8” x 8” baking dish with cooking oil.

2. Whisk the flour, stock and milk in a saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes or until hot and thickened. Stir in the cheddar cheese, reserving 3 tbsp for the topping, 3 Tbsp of the Parmesan cheese and the mustard. Cook until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni until tender but firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Place in baking dish and toss with cheese sauce and chicken.

4. Combine the breadcrumbs, the remaining 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl and stir until well mixed. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. Top with the remaining 3 tbsp grated cheddar cheese.

5. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the filling is hot and the top is golden. Garnish with the parsley.

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cups 2 % evaporated milk
1 cups shredded old light cheddar cheese ( 3 oz)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 3/4 cups elbow macaroni
3/4 cup diced cooked chicken

1/4 cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Serves 5