THE BLOG
12/02/2014 04:24 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2015

Sinfully Rich and Skinny Macaroni & Cheese, Italian-Style

Get ready to make an amazing mac and cheese, skinny or not!!! This casserole is so over-the-top rich and is completely vegetarian. Using a store-bought container of light alfredo sauce transforms ordinary mac and cheese into extraordinary! Each serving has 293 calories, 9 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers Points Plus.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook and Bake Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups (8 ounces) dry Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta or penne, see shopping tips

1 (10 oz) container Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, see shopping tips

1 (9 oz) package frozen and thawed chopped spinach, well drained

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese or fat-free ricotta cheese

¼ cup fat-free milk

1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light, melted

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon dried basil

1 egg, I like using Egg-land's Best eggs

A small dash of salt and black pepper, to taste

½ cup shredded (2%) reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. You can use glass or metal.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook only for 6 minutes so it will not be overcooked. No need to add salt to water! Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together Alfredo sauce, drained spinach, cottage cheese, milk, butter and garlic. Add pasta and mix really well. Blend in egg, basil, salt and pepper. Be sure it's all mixed together well.

4.Transfer pasta to the prepared baking dish.

5. Sprinkle the top evenly with mozzarella cheese

6. Bake casserole 25 minutes until golden brown. Let casserole rest for 10
minutes. Cut into 6 serving. This casserole freeze great!

Makes 6 servings (about 1½ cups each)

Shopping Tips
Use Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, if possible. It comes in a 10 ounce container and can be found in most supermarkets in the refrigerator section, where fresh pasta and sauces are displayed. If you can't find it, there are several brands of jarred light Alfredo sauces in the pasta aisle. They come in a larger, 15 ounce jar, so you'll have some leftover.

There are several brands of whole wheat or whole grain small pasta that will work for this recipe. I used Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta. It looks like a macaroni shell. You could also use a whole grain or whole wheat penne or rigatoni pasta, if desired.


Weight Watchers old points 6
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 7

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (about 1½ cups each)
293 calories, 9g fat, 18g protein, 36g carbs, 5g fiber, 593mg sodium, 5g sugar

Note:
1. The nutrition facts were calculated on Spark People.com:
2. The Weight Watchers POINTS were calculated on CalculatorCat.com:

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