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Hy-Vee at Midday: Mac & Cheese Makeover

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Now that fall has arrived, it is a great time to enjoy produce of the season while making over a traditional comfort food favorite. Make a serious dent in the calorie and fat content of good old mac and cheese, while preserving the creamy texture. This recipe cuts more than 500 calories and 350 milligrams of sodium per 1 1/3 cup serving. The secret ingredient...butternut squash!

Original Recipe Creamy Light Recipe

908 calories per serving 389 calories
963 milligrams sodium 589 milligrams sodium

48.7 grams fat 10.9 grams fat
36 grams saturated fat 6.1 grams saturated fat

The secrets...

- Butternut squash, cooked and pureed, adds vivid color and nutty flavor for the sauce, and provides an excellent course of vitamin A.

- Low fat milk and Greek yogurt add creaminess to the sauce.

- Strong flavored cheeses add flavor and gooey texture without all the calories and fat of traditional cheeses.

Creamy Light Macaroni and Cheese

All you need:

3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about one 1-pound squash)

1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups fat-free milk

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese

1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

1 pound uncooked cavatappi or pipette pasta

Cooking spray

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

All you do:

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine squash, broth, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

Serves 8. Source: ; modified by Alicia Aguiar, MS, RD, LD

Nutritional Information: (per 1-1/3-cup serving)

Calories: 390 Fat: 10.9g Saturated fat: 6.1g Monounsaturated fat: 2.1g Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4g Protein: 19.1g Carbohydrate: 53.9g Fiber: 3.2g Cholesterol: 31mg Iron: 2.4mg Sodium: 589mg Calcium: 403mg

Alicia V. Aguiar, MS, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

319 364-4196 |

Hy-Vee, Inc. | 1556 1st Avenue NE | Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

"Making lives easier, healthier, happier."

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