FN's Top Recipes, Lightened Up: #1 Baked Macaroni & Cheese

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Photo by: STEPHEN MURELLO

STEPHEN MURELLO

Macaroni and cheese tops just about everyone’s list of favorite comfort foods -- and Alton Brown's version repeatedly tops the list of Food Network's most popular recipes. It's easy to see why: It feeds a crowd, and the gooey goodness is so filling. The dish is also easy to lighten up.  Make these few tweaks to make it light enough for a regular indulgence.

Sure, boxed mac and cheese is easy to whip up, but it seriously lacks in flavor. This dish is a simple, wholesome recipe made with real ingredients -- no powdered cheese mix here! Real cheddar cheese provides protein and calcium.

Our tips for lightening it up:
  • Trade the whole milk for low-fat milk (1%) to cut back on the saturated fat (without losing any calcium).
  • Use half of the cheese -- you still get all the flavor and save 115 calories and 175 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • Try panko for the topping (and lose the butter) to shave off an additional 50 calories per serving.
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