Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: "Turkey" Reuben Mac N' Cheese

Reubens. One of the ultimate sandwich splurges. Now we are going to take it and make it into a pasta that's "lean"? You bet we are...and we did! I printed this Rachael Ray Reuben Mac N' Cheese recipe out weeks ago, but saved it for when my mom was up visiting this week. Mom was the one who pointed it out to me, therefore it was only right to wait to make it with her! We had so much fun! One thing I did learn was that taking pictures throughout the process is so much easier when someone else is doin' part of the cookin'.

So here is our "Cookin' Lean" version of Reuben Mac N' Cheese. Or I should say, TURKEY Reuben Mac N' Cheese! ENJOY!

Serves 6-8

  • Salt
  • 1 pound WHOLE WHEAT corkscrew shaped pasta or other short cut pasta 
  • 8 WHOLE WHEAT crackers (about 2" diameter) 
  •  2 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • A handful of fresh parsley leaves  
  • 1 teaspoon paprika  
  • 3 tablespoons WHOLE WHEAT flour  
  • 2 cups SKIM milk  
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown deli mustard, such as Gulden's brand  
  • 1 cup shredded REDUCED-FAT Swiss cheese  
  • 1 cup shredded Gruy√®re cheese  
  • 1 cup shredded KRAFT FAT FREE yellow cheddar cheese  
  • 3/4 pound good quality deli LEAN TURKEY, sliced as thick as bacon, chopped  
  • 1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta cooks, place crackers in a food processor. Add the parsley and paprika to the crackers and process into "breadcrumbs"; reserve. **Don't have a food processor? Just toss the crackers in a plastic zip-loc and crush. Pour into a bowl and mix paprika and finely chopped parsley.

Heat a saucepot over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil to the pot and heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then add the milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, thicken for 5-6 minutes, then stir in the mustard. Melt two-thirds of the combined cheeses into the sauce.

Pre-heat the broiler.

Drain the pasta and return it to the hot pot. Toss the hot pasta with the chopped meat and sauerkraut to combine, then stir in the cheese sauce and coat.

Transfer the mac 'n cheese to a casserole dish and top with the "cracker-crumbs" and remaining cheese. Brown under the broiler for 3-4 minutes and serve.


This was everything I ever hoped it would be. Incredible! Even with using REAL Gruyere, we were able to save 200 calories and 20 grams of fat! The huge savings came from subbing turkey for corned beef. A simple switch that still makes a great Reuben. What made this meal complete? We paired it with a mixed green salad dressed with 1000 island dressing. I mean, what's a Reuben without 1000 island? Here is a rundown of how it panned out nutritionally. Not bad!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving/based on 6 servings):

BEFORE: 794.17 calories;  35.03g fat;  72.21g carbohydrate;  44.79g protein;  5.18g fiber
AFTER: 593.5 calories;  14.51g fat;  75.9g carbohydrate;  41.9g protein; 9.65g fiber
SAVES: 200.67 calories & 20.52g fat  ADDS: 4.47g fiber

**One thing to note about the servings is that they are HUGE! Rachael's recipe says "6", but this dish can EASILY serve 8. We had 5 adults and 1 child eating this last night with 2-3 more servings to spare. If the nutrition facts seem high, it is mostly because you are getting an entire plate full of pasta!


  1. Yum! That looks amazing!

    I'm Tami and I have a healthy living blog where I post healthy recipes and healthy living tips
    ! I gained back a few pounds and decided to host a Small Change Challenge to get back on track.

    Stop by and read about it and see if you would like to join!

  2. Looks wonderful and so healthy too which is sometimes hard to do with mac and cheese but you pulled it off!



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