Tomato Soup Mac & Cheese
Did you do a double-take? That’s right, this comfort food mashup combines everything you love about warm, velvety tomato basil soup with the creamy, cheesy goodness of homemade macaroni and cheese. Taking two of my favorite comfort foods and blending them together into a new dish is one of the things that gets me most excited about cooking. The other is keeping that dish packed full of crave-worthy flavor while keeping the calories in check so that it’ll fit nicely into my Weight Watchers lifestyle. At just 330 calories and 10 Weight Watchers SmartPoints, a generous serving of this Tomato Soup Mac & Cheese with a side of veggies is a decadent, satisfying meal that is sure to please palates of all ages. This dish serves as a great vegetarian option, but if you’re the type that needs to tear into some meat at every meal, consider serving half portions of this as a side dish for steak or chicken.
Tomato Soup Mac & Cheese
Yield: 8 (about 1 ½ cup) servings
- 1 lb (16 oz) uncooked wheat or otherwise high fiber elbow macaroni or pasta shells
- 3 tablespoons light butter, divided
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 (14.5 oz can) whole tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup torn basil leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 ¼ cups fat free milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 oz 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar, shredded (I used Cabot brand)
- 4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded (I used Cabot Seriously Sharp)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- While the water is boiling for step one, melt one tablespoon of the light butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil and thyme and raise heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are simmering, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of light butter in another saucepan. Add the flour to the butter and stir to combine. Add the milk a little at a time and whisk the flour mixture into the milk until smooth. Add the mustard powder and salt and stir to combine. Add 4 ounces of the shredded cheese (set aside 2 ounces for topping) to the milk mixture and whisk together until smooth. Make sure heat is on the lowest setting and warm cheese sauce for about 5 minutes to thicken.
- When the tomato mixture is done simmering, pour it into a blender (or use an immersion blender – one of my favorite tools!) and blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Mix in the cooked pasta until well coated. Pour the pasta mixture into the reserved baking dish and sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until cooked through and bubbly.
Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
10 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
9 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
330 calories, 48 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 15 g protein, 7 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
an Emily Bites Original