Friday, October 25, 2013

Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, which you can read here, macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods. We eat it at our house on a weekly basis, and we don't even have any kids. In particular, my favorite version is a recipe that I adapted from several different recipes in order to make it both delicious and semi-healthy.

 I was introduced to greek yogurt macaroni and cheese from my Cook This Not That cook book and I tweaked it to make it more to our liking. Several people have asked me to share this recipe with them, and I am TERRIBLE at remembering to send it! So, I thought I would take the time to put it together in one place and post it for easy access.

Now, anyone who isn't living under a rock knows that greek yogurt has grown in its popularity over the last several years...and for good reason! Greek yogurt has some fantastic health benefits, as well as providing more protein than regular yogurt. With its sour taste and thick texture, Greek yogurt is a great sour cream substitute and has far less fat. Pinterest has an awesome list of things that you can substitute Greek yogurt can find that here. However, be careful with how you cook the yogurt as it can curdle if not cooked properly.

Go ahead and try not to drool. This recipe is the perfect blend of creamy cheesy goodness!

Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups macaroni or cavatappi pasta (I like to use whole grain pasta, veggie pasta, or a combination)
2 T. unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
2 c. milk (make sure that you use 2% or higher, you need a little fat so that your sauce doesn't curdle)
1 c. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese (make sure that you use real parmesan, it makes a big difference!)
1/4 c. greek yogurt (I use Fage 0% fat)
1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs, or panko breadcrumbs mixed with Italian seasoning
1 clove minced garlic
black pepper and salt to taste

How to Make it:
1. cook pasta, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a medium-large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, continue whisking to prevent clumping. Add garlic and let the bechamel simer for 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Stir in the cheddar cheese, colby jack cheese, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and cook until completely melted, stirring constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Add the pasta and toss to coat evenly.
3. Preheat the broiler on low. Pour the macaroni mixture into an 8x8 pan. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Place pan in middle rack and of the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

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