Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food and so are warm cheesy tuna melts and I have always absolutely loved them both. I decided to combine the two into this easy, simple and nutritious dish. This recipe is for 4 HUGE servings (one serving as shown in the picture), as when I eat comfort food I want to feel completely satisfied, but you could cut down and divide it into 6 good sized servings for a lower calorie/points portion.
I use a few healthy cooking substitutions to replace all the fat and calories of your usual home-baked mac and cheese without sacrificing any of the rich creamy flavor. The result is below and it’s truly spectacular!
- 2.5 cups of whole wheat penne pasta, dry
- 1 5 oz. can of tuna, packed in water and well drained (I prefer chunk light but you can use chunk white or solid white)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of roasted spaghetti squash, or butternut squash (I split a spaghetti squash and place it face-down on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes at 350, remove seeds and scoop out insides)
- 1/4 cup of non fat milk
- 3 tablespoons of light cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon of light butter spread (I used Brummel and Brown)
- 1/2 cup of reduced fat shredded cheese
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- A few pinches of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
- 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (I used panko crunchy breadcrumbs)
Preheat oven to 375f. Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Put 5 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a covered medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add the penne. Stir and allow to cook uncovered for about 9 minutes. Strain in colander and allow to sit and drain throughly in the sink or over an empty pot.
Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and over medium heat, add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until tender and add well-drained tuna and toss together. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a blender, food processor or with a mixing wand, combine squash, milk, cream cheese, spread, onion powder, salt, pepper, and parsley very well. I use a blender and blend for at least a minute.
Add shredded cheese to blended mixture and pour it in with the tuna, onions and garlic and combine.
Pour mixture into the baking dish and spread with spoon to even out the top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and a bit of parsley and carefully coat the top with cooking spray.
Place in the oven and allow to cook for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep the mac and cheese inside the warm oven to cool down and set for another 25 minutes or so. Cut into 4 servings with a sharp knife, serve warm.
Nutrition Facts | Makes 4 servings
334 calories, 11.2g fat, 46g carbs, 6g fiber, 15.5g protein
9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving