Ask Chef Nicole: Healthy Mac n' Cheese with Prosciutto

Stephanie Webster

Last week I dragged my kids over to Chef Nicole's house on a quick errand, and this dish was cooling on the kitchen counter. It looked decadently delicious. She claimed it was healthy. I grabbed a fork and dug in with my kids close behind with utensils of their own. Everybody agreed this was a keeper in the weekly repertoire. 

Now, when the kids beg for mac n' cheese, I whip out this recipe. The skim mozzarella and low-fat milk take the guilt out of an ordinarily heavy dish, and you'd never know the fat was missing. And doesn't Proscuitto make everything taste better? No more boxes...or pretty much. Try it with your family. Let us know what you think.


 (Healthy, but don’t tell the kids) Macaroni and Cheese with Prosciutto


8 oz. pre-diced prosciutto 

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

4 Tbs. all-purpose flour

2 cups non-fat or 2% milk

2 C. shredded skim mozzarella and cheddar cheese mix

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, saving ¼ C. for topping

1 pound elbow macaroni

Kosher salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

To make the sauce:
Cook prosciutto on a heavy nonstick pan on medium high heat for 5-6 minutes until it begins to crisp.  Remove from pan and melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Add in diced proscuitto, cover and remove from heat.

Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

Sprinkle ¼ C. grated Parmigiano over macaroni and bake uncovered until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.