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Low Fat Apple Bacon Gouda Mac and Cheese
by Jamie Vespa on Wednesday July 6, 2016
Low Fat Apple Bacon Gouda Mac and Cheese

Decadently creamy macaroni and cheese with apples, bacon, sage and gouda cheese. An undeniably rich and delicious dish that you would never believe is low in fat and calories.

  • 2⅓ cups elbow pasta
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into small cubes (~2½ cups)
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk - or milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Sea salt black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place butternut squash cubes on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to evenly coat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until tender, flipping at least once half-way through.
  2. Add the roasted butternut squash to a food processor and pour in chicken stock. Puree until smooth.
  3. Cook macaroni according to package instruction. Drain and return to pasta pot. Set aside.
  4. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy. Transfer to paper towels to remove excess grease and chop bacon into small pieces.
  5. Using the same skillet (maintained at medium heat), add apples and shallot and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add sage and garlic and saute until aromatic, ~1 extra minute. Transfer all contents to a plate.
  6. Using again the same skillet (maintained at medium heat), add butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for ~1 minute, whisking continuously. Add smoked paprika and slowly pour in milk, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a medium simmer to allow sauce to thicken (this should take ~6-7 minutes). Once sauce thickens, reduce heat to low and whisk in butternut squash mixture and gouda cheese. Continue to stir until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.
  7. Pour sauce into pot to be combined with macaroni. Stir in apple and bacon mixture. Spoon into bowls and serve!
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 7 servings
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 285 Fat: 11 gm Saturated fat: 5.5 gm Carbohydrates: 39 gm Sugar: 3 gm Sodium: 300 mg Fiber: 5.5 gm Protein: 11 gm Cholesterol: 31 mg

Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and more recipes on her blog, Dishing Out Health.