"This has been a mainstay recipe at Canyon Ranch since the early days," says Dan Hardy, executive chef at the wellness resort and spa in Lenox, Mass. "It's the perfect example of how healthy eating need not deprive you of taste, satisfaction and indulgence."

By People Staff
December 29, 2020 11:51 AM
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Credit: Jennifer Causey

"This has been a mainstay recipe at Canyon Ranch since the early days," says Dan Hardy, executive chef at the wellness resort and spa in Lenox, Mass. "It's the perfect example of how healthy eating need not deprive you of taste, satisfaction and indulgence."

Canyon Ranch's Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Cooking spray

3 cups uncooked whole-wheat elbow macaroni (about 12 oz.)

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 onion)

1 dried bay leaf

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. white vinegar

8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

1/3 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly coat a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water for 3 minutes less than package direction indicate. Drain, and set aside

3. Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in bay leaf, pepper and cloves; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low.

4. Whisk together milk and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add milk mixture to onion mixture, whisking to combine; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking often, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder and vinegar. Remove bay leaf and discard. Whisk in cheddar and Parmesan cheeses until melted, about 30 seconds.

5. Remove from heat, and stir in drained pasta. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; top evenly with bread crumbs. Bake in preheated oven until bread crumbs are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves: 8

Active time: 25 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes