Mexican Mac and Cheese – Healthstyle Tips

Mexican Mac and Cheese


Active time: 15 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

This zesty mac and cheese uses chickpea pasta to boost the protein to 28 grams per serving and also packs loads of veggies, which ups the fiber content to 11 grams. Look for the new bean-based pastas in grocery stores and online.

Mexican Mac and Cheese


8 ounces (227g) chickpea elbow pasta (I used Banza)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup (57g) onion, chopped
1/4 cup (45g) fresh corn kernels or defrosted frozen corn
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
2 cups (473ml) 2% milk
1 cup (4 ounces/113g) grated pepper jack cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium tomato, sliced


Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) and spray an 8-inch (20.3cm) square baking dish with cooking spray. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and pour into the prepared baking dish. Reserve the pan used to cook the pasta.

In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté until tender, 3 minutes. Add the corn and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cumin, removed from heat and set aside.

Place the flour in the pot used to boil the pasta. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking frequently, until bubbly, 4 minutes. (Be careful the sauce doesn’t begin to scorch on the bottom of the pot.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt and half the cheese. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and pasta in the baking dish and stir to combine.

Top with the slices of tomato and the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is bubbly, 15 minutes.

Serves: 4 | Serving size: 1 1/2 cups (360g)

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 450; Total Fat: 20g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 37mg; Sodium: 649mg; Carbohydrate: 50g; Dietary Fiber: 11g; Sugar: 16g; Protein: 28g

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