Light Smokin’ Mac and Cheese

I love testing recipes and especially love it when I find a winner.  This mac and cheese recipe is from the January 2011 issue of Southern Living.  What makes it so great is it is a LIGHT recipe and it has a creamy, smoky taste  that is so good.  I’m sure to make this again and again.

Baked Smokin’ Macaroni and Cheese

  • YIELD: Makes 8 servings
  • 1 pound uncooked cellentani (corkscrew) pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 (12-oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded 1.5% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
  • 1 (8-oz.) package chopped smoked ham
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cellentani pasta according to package directions.  (I used regular macaroni.)

2. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda cheese, next 3 ingredients, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in ham and pasta.
3. Pour pasta mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir together crushed cereal, 1 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.  (I omitted the cornflake topping.)

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving (baked with topping): Calories 456; Fat 11.7g  (Mine has fewer calories and fat because I did not add the cornflake topping.  Note how large one serving is!)


Click here for a printable recipe.

This recipe was easy to make and is truly delicious.  Do you think you’d like it?



  1. YUM!

  2. Mmm it looks delicious! I could see making it for a big crowd or to take to a pot luck too.

  3. Nancy's Notes says:

    Oh my, that looks scrumptious! I could eat that for breakfast! Thanks for sharing that awesome recipe!

  4. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    YUMMY!!! Natalie is a huge fan of mac and cheese. She’d love this one. 🙂

  5. FrouFrouBritches says:

    OH MY GRACIOUS! That looks AMAZING! I adore smoked gouda so I know I would love this. Gosh, I miss my Southern Living. Gotta renew that! MMMM! Thanks for sharing!

  6. That looks super tasty! The last mac n’ cheese recipe I tried was light, and tasted very light. Yours looks much more indulgent!

  7. This looks delicious, Paula. I love, love, LOVE homemade mac and cheese, but I usually avoid making it because it’s so fattening and I just can’t resist it! I need to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing it!

  8. Eggs In My Pocket says:

    I have alwasys loved Southern Living recipes and this certainly looks like a good one. Thanks for sharing. blessings,Kathleen

  9. Life In The Thrifty Lane says:

    Looks absolutely yummy! I really need to make this, I bet my kids will love it!

  10. Sounds like a perfect combination… but really? It’s good for you? I’m sold! 🙂

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