Healthy Lentil Pasta Mac and Cheese (Gluten-Free)



Looking for a super healthy alternative to mac and cheese? This one is protein packed, super healthy, and delicious! It’s made with red lentil pasta. It’s the first time I’ve tried using this type of pasta. Just so you know, It doesn’t actually taste like regular pasta but found it very tasty. Plus once you add all the other ingredients, it’s really yummy! Each serving has 218 calories, 8 grams of fat and 5 Weight Watchers Freestyle Points.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 (8.8 oz) pkg.Barilla Red Lentil Rotini Pasta, see shopping tips

2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light

½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or leave out if you don’t want it a little spicy

⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon reduced-fat milk

1¼ cups low fat cottage cheese or part skim ricotta cheese

1 cup light cheese such as Mozzarella, cheddar or a blend of cheeses, shredded

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted, see prep tips

¼ cup light shredded cheese such as Mozzarella, cheddar or a blend of cheeses

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Cook red lentil pasta according to pkg. instructions but don’t overcook. I cooked it for 7 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

3. To make cheese sauce:  In a large nonstick pan, melt butter. Using a whisk, mix in dry mustard powder and cayenne pepper. Whisk in milk, cottage cheese and shredded cheese. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

4. Stir in cheese sauce the cooked red lentil pasta and defrosted peas/carrots. Mix everything together well. Add to baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle all over top with ¼ cup shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheeses are melted.

5. Cool slightly and cut into 6 servings.

Makes 6 main course servings.


Healthy Benefits

Red Lentil pasta is a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. It’s made with 1 simple ingredients…lentils! It’s gluten-free too!


Shopping Tips
Barilla Red Lentil Rotini Pasta is dried pasta and sold in the pasta section of most major super markets Trader Joe’s sells one too called Organic Red Lentil Sedanini. It’s a 12 oz pkg. but you’ll only use 8.8 ounces for this recipe.


Prep Tips
The easiest way to defrost the frozen peas/carrots is to place 1 cup in a bowl and cover with hot water to defrost. Drain before adding to recipe.


Weight Watchers Freestyle Points 5
Weight Watchers SmartPoints 5
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 7

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving
218 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat. fat, 24mg chol, 21g protein, 31g carbs, 5g fiber, 325mg sod, 3g sugar