Mac and cheese is pure comfort food to me.

Mother Lovett made some delicious, creamy macaroni and cheese, and I was always trying to perfect it. She always told me my version was ‘too dry.’ Of course it was, because Inever used 6lbs of velveeta.


One thing I have none of when it comes to mac and cheese? Self control.

So I made a lighter version of the heavy duty stuff.

And this time, I portioned it into tiny ramekins in hopes of stopping after eating one. It worked. Sorta.


I never liked pasta when I was younger, probably because it was usually served with tomato sauce and I do not like tomato sauce.


I think that using fun-shaped pasta makes every meal more enjoyable. Here I used whole wheat fusilli.

I still made a traditional cheese sauce, beginning with a roux. But most of the sauce was made with skim milk.

Oh, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

Four different kinds went into this dish.

Gruyere. (Sigh.)

Smoked Cheddar. (Adore.)

Parmesan. (Swoon.)

Brie. (Drool.)

Could there possibly be a better combination?

I didn’t think so.

After baking, I set it under the broiler just so the cheese would brown. I love brown, bubbly cheese.


I love the crispy, crunchy texture that the cheese takes on. And I love the creamy, melty cheese in the bottom of the bowl.

I love a lot of things.

But do you know what I don’t love?


Yeah. Mr. How Sweet is still rockin’ the moustache. Or as I like to call it, the crustache.

Last night he cooked his own dinner. Know what he made? Frozen fish filets. I am embarrassed to admit that we even had those in my house. But we did. And he made them.


And then he googled ‘how to cook stuff,’ in anticipation for making his own dinner tonight.

As much as I hate the crustache, watching him make dinner for himself is highly entertaining.

I’ll admit, I feel a tiny bit bad. But then he tries to kiss me and I feel those crusty whiskers on my face, and all my remorse goes right out the window.


Luckily for him, we had some of this mac and cheese leftover from dinner this past weekend, so he was able to gobble this up for his side.


Lightened-Up Four Cheese Mac and Cheese

4 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon corn starch

1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

1/2 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

4 oz brie cheese

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Separate cooked pasta into 4 ramekins.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Once smooth, add in skim milk and heavy cream, continuing to stir until warm. Add in gruyere and cheddar cheese, stirring until smooth. If sauce it not think enough, whisk in cornstarch until desired consistency is reached. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan and 2 oz of brie. Add in nutmeg and salt and pepper, if needed.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta in each ramekin. Top with remaining parmesan and brie. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes to brown cheese on top.



Mac and cheese with fish filets – sounds like a kiddo meal, eh? I have a feeling his meals over the next few days will give me many belly laughs.

That is, unless he shaves. . .


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72 Responses to “Lightened-Up Four Cheese Mac and Cheese.”

  1. #
    Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly — March 2, 2010 @ 7:30 am

    Holy mother of heaven this looks amazing!!! My kind of gal! Thanks Jess!


  2. #
    Sarah @ THE FOODIE DIARIES — March 2, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    True story: Post graduating, I decided I wanted to open a restaurant that only served mac and cheese. I was gonna call it The Mac Shack. I would have deffffffinitely used this recipe! Ah, what could have beeen… Le sigh

    Happy Tuesday, girl


  3. #
    Morgan — March 2, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    i want to see a picture of the moustache! Smoked cheddar and brie are amazing, but you had to add gruyere and parmesan? I’m so heading to the grocery store to stock up on cheese


  4. #
    Julia (Taste of Living) — March 2, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    Cheese and pasta…delicious

    Four cheeses and pasta…wow!

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)


  5. #
    Karla — March 2, 2010 @ 7:43 am

    Holy moley! that looks amazing! i’m not a pasta fan but that looks to die for!


  6. #
    Heather @ Side of Sneakers — March 2, 2010 @ 7:43 am

    Need..mac and cheese…now!! Gosh that looks SO so good. I love the combo of awesome cheeses :)


  7. #
    Sarah — March 2, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    oh wow, how delicious! and brie…. swoonalicious!


  8. #
    Mara @ What's For Dinner? — March 2, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    That looks fabulous!!


  9. #
    Ally @ Sweet & Savory — March 2, 2010 @ 8:08 am

    I put my mac -n- cheese in ramekins as well!


  10. #
    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self — March 2, 2010 @ 8:24 am

    That Mac ‘n’ Cheese looks awesome!!! If you like butternut squash, you should definitely try this version:


  11. #
    Rose — March 2, 2010 @ 8:25 am

    Um. Wow. Swoon.


  12. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — March 2, 2010 @ 8:51 am

    drool. sigh. i love mac and cheese more than i ever imagined. it’s the perfect comfort food for me, and since i try to have self control and not eat it too often i don’t really feel bad when i do! this sounds absolutely amazing… :)


  13. #
    Mr. How Sweet It Is — March 2, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    To all of you well-wishers and those that are keeping me in your prayers and thoughts, I thank you. I will not bow to tyranny. I will not succumb. I’m an man. I have a job. I can grow a mustache if I want.

    Besides it’s only for 20 more days.

    At which time my buddies are going to celebrate with a ‘Stache Bash. It will be awesome. We will go out to eat, the waitress will ask the hostess what table is her’s, at which time the hostess will respond, “well, that one there with all the guys with mustaches.”

    Are my buddies and I the only ones that see how fun this is going to be???


  14. #
    Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness — March 2, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    WOW! That looks WONDERFUL! I love that they are ‘mini’ mac and cheese bowls:) I’m going to have to try that!


  15. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — March 2, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    Mac and cheese is one of those dishes that just intimidates the heck out of me when it comes to trying to make it from scratch. Yours looks SO delicious!


  16. #
    Madeline - Greens and Jeans — March 2, 2010 @ 9:43 am

    Mr. How Sweet, I’m thinking we are going to need photographic evidence…


  17. #
    MelissaNibbles — March 2, 2010 @ 9:49 am

    Now this is just food porn.


  18. #
    Nicole, RD — March 2, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    I do believe I’ll be making this really, really soon! Mmmm!


  19. #
    Tracey — March 2, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    Mac and cheese is total comfort food for me. I’ve never actually tried making it, myself, from scratch. What you made looks so good and I’m pretty sure I will be trying it out. I would love to try and make some with the Kerrygold (my favorite) white cheddar cheese. YUM!


  20. #
    Karen w — March 2, 2010 @ 10:06 am

    That looks yummy! I love brown bubbly cheese too :)


  21. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — March 2, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    Mac & Cheese is such a comforting food!! I love how you made individual portions :)


  22. #
    Evan Thomas — March 2, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    I would definitely be happy with mac and cheese and fish :-)


  23. #
    Lily @ Lily's Health Pad — March 2, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    Gruyere sounds soooo good in a mac n cheese dish! I like to make cheddar jack mac n cheese.


  24. #
    katie — March 2, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    oh my GOODNESS! comfort food at its finest!


  25. #
    Blond Duck — March 2, 2010 @ 10:18 am

    It sounds like a perfect meal to me. I see another contender in the mac and cheese wars of the Pond…


  26. #
    Melissa — March 2, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    OMG, heaven!!! Jared always complains about eating wheat pasta. but I’m printing this recipe because there’s no way he can say anything when it’s smothered in ooey gooey cheese. Yum!


  27. #
    Crystal — March 2, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    Mmmm…mac and cheeeeeeese…my fav!


  28. #
    Emily (A Nutritionisteats) — March 2, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    Amazing blend of cheeses!!!!


  29. #
    Kacy — March 2, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    hahaha, I am curious to hear what he comes up with tonight. He is certainly a little on the crazy side to pass up your amazing cooking for a damn stache.


  30. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — March 2, 2010 @ 11:51 am

    my hubs loves carbs and cheese. and sorta baked mac n cheese. This would be his perfect recipe :)


  31. #
    Katie — March 2, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Haha the mustache. My husband wants to grow a beard so badly (a long gnarly one) but FORTUNATELY he cannot. He just gets peach fuzz thank the lord. I want to see this Mr. Sweet Mustache.

    Mac and cheese looks divine. :-)


  32. #
    caroline — March 2, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    wow im def gonna have to try this! it looks soo good!


  33. #
    The Paris Food Blague — March 2, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    oh my gosh that cheese! swoon!
    a bientot
    the paris food blague


  34. #
    homecookedem — March 2, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    omigosh, omigosh, omigosh!!!!!! This looks incredibly delicious!! I love all of those cheeses, but gruyere is my faaaaavorite!! YUM!! :)


  35. #
    MySensei — March 2, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    These mac n cheeses look soooo amazingly delicious!!!


  36. #
    Nicole @ Making Good Choices — March 2, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    Where did you find whole wheat pasta in that shape?? that looks so fun I want that shape! I love that you are being strong in not cooking haha, I probably would have caved, but then again my husband couldn’t even grow a mustache if he tried (but don’t tell him that…he thinks he can)


  37. #
    Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers — March 2, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

    this looks awesome!!! oh & i just about died laughing about the “‘stache bash.” too funny!


    • Jessica — March 2nd, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

      Don’t encourage him!!!


  38. #
    Abby — March 2, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    I think anytime my dad was in charge of cooking when I was a kid we had fishsticks and mac and cheese. Must be a guy thing!


  39. #
    Gabriela (froyolover) — March 2, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

    Holy Moly!
    This recipe souded DIVINE!
    Have a great week!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,


  40. #
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats — March 2, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    Oh dear, dear me…your place is a dangerous one – I always leave with cravings. This really does sound delicious.


  41. #
    Jessica — March 2, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    Will he allow you to post a pic of the stache? Haha, thanks for the lightened up recipe. I used to love mac and cheese but I don’t even remember when was the last time I had it. Think this will work over spaghetti squash? I think i have about 2 cups left from baking a BIG one the other day.


  42. #
    Jolene ( — March 2, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

    I absolutely LOVE mac and cheese. I could eat it every. single. day.


  43. #
    Shelley — March 2, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    oh wow, now i want a big bowl asap! haha


  44. #
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries — March 2, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

    1) This mac n cheese looks orgasmic.

    2) This mustache thing is probably the funniest thing going on any blog. I feel for you, girlfriend, but it is high entertainment for the rest of us! Especially if he keeps googling, “how to cook stuff”! I love it!! :wink:


  45. #
    LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils — March 2, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

    You are hysterical about the mustache. My dad has one too, and I have been begging him to shave it. He would look 10 years younger.

    Keep on your crusade!


  46. #
    Stephanie — March 2, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

    I can’t believe he hasn’t broken yet?!?! It’s only a matter of time… until then, enjoy the entertainment ;)


  47. #
    Jessica @ The Process of Healing — March 2, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

    HAHA googling “how to cook stuff,” priceless!! sounds like my dad!!! I’m betting he will crack any day now..
    Your mac and cheese looks to die for!! Can you come be my personal chef? Please?


  48. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — March 2, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    I mean is there anything more comforting than creamy mac and cheese! LOVE it so much :) and also love how its lightned up with whole wheat!!


  49. #
    sophia — March 2, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    Lightened up, but as rich and inviting as Bill Gate’s bank account!! Whoa la la~ All those cheese are my fave…swooning!! Esp that brie!!! Goddamn gimmegimmegimme now!


  50. #
    Andrea @ — March 2, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    Haha, I’m loving this moustache saga! It’s hysterical! And I can’t promise you that I don’t have fish filets in my freezer…
    This mac and cheese looks dynamite. I was thinking tonight about making a big batch of the homemade creamy cheesy stuff! Thanks for the recipe!



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