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Crispy Crunchy Baked Mac n’ Cheese

While reading the e-cookbook The 50 Best Family-Friendly Recipes: Tasty, fresh, and easy to make!, I saw a recipe on page 49 for baked macaroni and cheese. I adapted the recipe (used oil instead of margarine, used less cheese, added onion and garlic and changed the topping from corn flakes to oats). So yeah, highly adapted but at least I got an idea for dinner 😉 Dinner was liked by all, a nice mix of “comfort food” with the hidden power of oats.

Crispy Crunchy Baked Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb macaroni (I used Tirali shape)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 3 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 8 ounces 2% sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups), grated
  • Hot sauce to taste (used Green Tabasco, 10 dashes)

Topping –

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°, spray a 9×13″ glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook pasta until just tender, drain.

Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium, add the oil and onion, cook until golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Whisk in the flour and pepper, cook for a minute. Whisk in the milk until smooth, let thicken while whisking often. Stir in the cheese, turn off the heat and season to taste with hot sauce and salt if desired. Add the pasta and stir to coat, spoon into the prepared baking dish.

Add the oats, Italian seasoning and pepper to a mini food chopped, pulse until finely chopped. In a medium mixing bowl  work the oil into the oats, toss with the cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

~Sarah

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