- 1 serving medium shells - prepared as instructed on package (I use whole grain to make it healthier but either will suffice)
- 1/2 tablespoon margarine or butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp but you might want to start with mild)
- 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup low fat or fat free sour cream
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs - for topping
- Pam cooking spray
Here is my recipe for one. (Please note – you will need a small oven safe dish or bowl bake in for this dish. I recommend something like this from Target – Oval Mini Casserole Dish )
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Boil shells as instructions tell you to on the package. Drain shells and put into a decent sized mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil over pasta and toss with hands to coat shells.
Immediately add the margarine (or butter), salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper (save other 1/4 for topping mixture), 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (save other 1/2 for topping mixture), sour cream and shredded cheeses (hold small portion to the side if you want to sprinkle some on top) to the pasta. Mix with the pasta using a wooden spoon until butter is soft and cheese is beginning to melt.
Spray your baking pan with Pam cooking spray. Spoon pasta mixture into the dish. (Add extra shredded cheese to the top of the pasta if you decided to hold some behind).
In a plastic ziploc bag, combine Panko bread crumbs and the remainder of the garlic powder and black pepper. Shake bag until ingredients are mixed and sprinkle on the top of the pasta (you may not need to use it all depending on how covered you like it – for me the crispier the better!) Give it a quick spray over the top with Pam cooking spray to help the bread crumbs brown (you could also brush it with melted butter).
Place dish in the oven for 30 minutes. Be careful as the food will be really hot when it comes out. Let stand for 15 mins before serving.
Macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes that also tastes good reheated! If you want to have a delicious left over lunch, double this recipe and make some extra to put in the fridge :)