Homemade Macaroni & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. With the ultimate comfort food, comes the ultimate comfort music and for me it’s a playlist full of Motown oldies – which always has me dancing and cooking up a storm. It doesn’t take much convincing to persuade me to make Mac & Cheese. The cold weather only further encourages me to cook up something warm, hearty and delicious. Macaroni and Cheese is like a hug…a big hug that leaves me filled with guilt and eventual gas. Sorry for the over share.
Because of that, I often shy away from the deliciousness that is mac & cheese. Not wanting to miss out, I decided to give this comfort food a nutritional boost with white kidney beans (aka cannellini beans). The beans add extra fibre, folate and protein, which is a wonderful bonus. Here is the first recipe created by yours truly, I hope you enjoy it!
I decided to add the onion to give the dish an extra kick of flavour since the pureed kidney beans can get a little (for lack of a better word) “bean-y”, feel free to remove it if onions aren’t your thing. If you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend adding a tsp of mustard – it adds a distinct taste so be sure that whoever is eating your Mac & Cheese has an open mind.
- 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (approx. 230g of cheddar)
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 can (540 ml) white kidney beans/cannellini beans
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup (46g) onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup (72g) breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp water
- 30 ml grated parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 375 F
- Boil salted water in large pot, add elbow macaroni to boiling water until desired doneness (I prefer al dente)
- Grate cheddar cheese while macaroni is cooking.
- Puree kidney beans, chopped onion and water until a smooth paste is created.
- Drain cooked macaroni and add 1 tbsp of butter to prevent pasta from sticking.
- In a saucepan, whisk bean/onion puree, milk, 2 tbsp butter and 1/2 of your grated cheese (set other 1/2 aside), until cheese has melted and sauce is a smooth consistency.
- Add cheese sauce to cooked macaroni
- Add macaroni and sauce to casserole dish
- Top with remaining 1/2 of cheddar cheese, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and finish with breadcrumbs
- Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes and broil at 500 F for an additional 5 minutes (keep an eye on macaroni to avoid over-browning).
- Serve hot and enjoy!