Combining two mealtime classics, Dorothy L. of Meredith, New Hampshire came up with a new family favorite—Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese. “My grandchildren love it,” she says.
“It’s so versatile, too. Instead of the sloppy joe mix, I sometimes add taco seasoning, and I’ve also experimented with the other ingredients,” writes Dorothy. “But I’d like to see a lighter version of the recipe. Can you help?”
Our Test Kitchen staff quickly pinpointed three aspects of Dorothy’s creation that made it popular…cheese, cheese and more cheese! Unfortunately, all of that cheese also added calories and fat.
For our lighter version, half of the cheese was replaced with a reduced-fat variety, and extra milk was added to recreate the original recipe’s creamy cheese sauce.
The ground beef was swapped out for a smaller portion of ground turkey. Next, finely chopped celery and shredded carrot were added to bulk up the meat mixture and provide more nutrients.
Decreasing the butter and replacing the half-and-half with milk helped to cut a whopping 78% of the fat and 658 calories from the casserole. Even though the cholesterol was reduced by 75% and the sodium by 40%, Makeover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese offers all of the heart-warming comfort of the original.