Sunday, December 20, 2009

Try this Spicy, Healthier Mac and Cheese: Chipotle Mac and Cheese

Ever since this Cooking Light recipe came out in 2004, it's been a favorite in our house ever since! Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese is a healthier version of macaroni and cheese and you can use whole wheat pasta to add more fiber. The smoky chipotle chiles in adobo sauce come in a small can in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. You can freeze the remaining chiles or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator where they store for months.

This recipe makes 6 servings for an entree portion and you can serve it as a side dish for a dinner party with chicken or pork and stretch it further. I made this for tonight's dinner with steamed green beans. We were happy to have it again since I haven't made it in months. I've made it so many times that I have memorized the recipe. If you have kids you might want to reduce the number of chipotle chilis from 2 to 1.

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese (serves 6) - photo courtesy Cooking Light

1 (7 1/2-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (ONLY use 1 or 2 chiles)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
4 cupss cooked elbow macaroni 2 cups uncooked
2 cupss shredded cheddar cheese reduced-fat (8 oz)
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg lightly beaten
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove 1 tsp adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 2 chipotle chilies from can; finely chop to measure 1 tbs. Reserve chilies and remaining sauce for another use.
  3. Melt butter in a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped chilies, onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Add reserved 1 tsp adobo sauce, pasta, chedder cheese, cottage cheese, milk, Parmesan, and egg; stir to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Calories: 324; Fat 8.5g; Protein: 34.2g; Carb: 39.6g; Fiber 2g.


  1. This sounds great! Would it have too much heat for a 1 year old? She likes spice in small quantity.

  2. For kids, I'd limit the chiles to 1 or even just skip it all together and use chile powder if you think it might be too hot for her. I'd try one for the entire recipe first. Let me know how it works!