Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Few things bring smiles to the faces of kids and adults equally like mac and cheese. We never seem to get to old for it — graduated from the infamous blue box to home-cooked cheesy goodness. It disappears fast at every potluck. While my family (even the kids!) favorite our skinnied down version of Paula Deen’s slow cooker mac and cheese, I do still crave every now and then a good baked version. This Alton Brown recipe is perfection. When a crumbly crusty cheesy top is what you want, you won’t be disappointed.

Since we at the Greene House always try to slim down recipes when possible (without sacrificing flavor!), we went with whole wheat pasta, reduced fat margarine, 2% reduced fat milk, and 2% reduced fat cheese. The kids never even guessed it was a lower fat version. Still tastes fabulous swapping in lighter ingredients. But, at 10 PointsPlus per serving for a “lighter” dish, we will definitely reserve this one for special occasions.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Make sure it is free of lumps.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Fold the macaroni into the mix.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Top with remaining cheese.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

op the macaroni with the bread crumbs.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Alton Brown's Baked Macaroni and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Weight Watchers Info: 10 PointsPlus per serving
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine (we use Brummel & Brown)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces 2% reduced-fat sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine (for topping)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
  4. Temper in the egg. Stir in ¾ of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

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