Thank you to MELT® Organic for sponsoring this rich and creamy baked mac and cheese recipe. Not only does it use a healthier alternative to butter, it also contains pumpkin for a boost of fiber and vitamin A!
Remember a few weeks ago when I made those Tropical Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies and told you about MELT Organic spread? In case you don’t read and recall everything I ever tell you, let me refresh your memory: MELT is like butter 2.0. It’s made with good fats like coconut oil, and you can cook and bake with it just like butter.
It also comes in honey and chocolate flavors! I was completely smitten with the stuff as soon as I tried it, and it is now a staple in our refrigerator. I love the honey flavor for toast or dessert baking and the original flavor for just about everything else. (I’m still trying to get my hands on the chocolate MELT!)
Turns out, MELT likes me too (aw, thanks!) and asked me to write another recipe for them! Of course I was excited to take them up on it, and this time I wanted to try a savory recipe like this healthier creamy baked mac and cheese. The two main things I usually use butter for are baking and cream sauces. I knew MELT passed the baking test, but I wanted to see how it would do in a cheese sauce.
MELT passed the cheese sauce test with flying colors! This sauce is rich and creamy, and it came together beautifully. One warning I feel I must give you when you’re cooking with MELT: It splatters a lot when it hits the pan. To avoid a big mess on your stovetop, I recommend putting a lid on the skillet as soon as you add it, and leave it on until the splattering stops. After that, carry on as usual.
While I was using a healthier ingredient than butter, I decided to also add a boost of vitamin and fiber with some pumpkin puree. Not only is the pumpkin undetectable to picky eaters, it also adds a beautiful orange color to make this baked mac and cheese look even cheesier!
I even used MELT instead of butter to make the cracker topping, and it browned perfectly. My love affair with this coconut oil spread continues, and I’m happy to say that I can find it at all the regular grocery stores I’ve checked. Ounce for ounce, it costs about the same as butter but is better for you, so why not give it a try? Then you can enjoy this cheesetastic dinner recipe too!
- 12 ounces bite-sized pasta
- 2 tablespoons MELT Organic spread original flavor
- 2 tablespoons flour all purpose, spelt, or rice flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese cheddar or Mexican blend
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 dashes worcestershire sauce
- a few grinds black pepper
- 2 tablespoons MELT Organic spread melted
- 1 cup cracker or bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add MELT spread, and cover pan immediately until melted and spattering has stopped. Whisk in flour until smooth. Add milk about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking constantly until smooth before adding more. Continue until all milk is incorporated. Bring to low simmer.
- Reduce heat to medium, and stir in cheese until melted. Stir in pumpkin, salt, garlic powder, worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Cook and stir briefly until heated through. Add cooked pasta, and stir to coat.
- Transfer mac and cheese mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir together melted MELT and cracker or bread crumbs. Evenly spread crumb mixture over pasta. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Don’t go out and buy worcestershire sauce just for the recipe. If you don’t have it on hand, you can leave it out.
New to making cream sauces? I have a video tutorial showing you exactly how to do it right here! (Don’t worry. It’s super easy!)
Take it from me: Don’t tell your kids about the pumpkin.
- Passive Time: 25
- Cook Time: 15
Want to know what else you can do with macaroni? Try these recipes!
MELT® Organic is a line of luscious, organic spreads made from healthy oils for butter lovers seeking a much healthier alternative, available in Rich & Creamy (original), Honey, and NEW Chocolate.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MELT Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.