How to Make an Easy, Diabetic Friendly Macaroni and Cheese in Your Air Fryer
This is an easy and quick way to make a macaroni and cheese that's reasonably nutritious and that diabetics (and others) can enjoy eating (as always, in moderation). And, yes, the mac n' cheese takes like the "real thing." The simple casserole is loaded with protein. In addition to the usual cheese--I prefer sharp cheddar--the dish includes eggs, milk, and a sort of secret ingredient--low-fat cottage cheese. The cottage cheese increases the protein, keeps the fat in check, and adds extra creaminess to the casserole. What about the pasta? It's there in a limited amount, and you won't need to pre-cook the noodles. I also use "protein pasta," which includes whole grains and has a higher protein and fiber content than the usual pasta. I make the dish in the air fryer to avoid heating up the oven, but if you'd like to bake the mac n' cheese in the oven, bake it at 350 degrees for a little over an hour. I usually serve the macaroni and cheese as a side dish, but it has sufficient protein to serve as a main course. Leftovers make great lunches reheated in the microwave. Enjoy!
Air Fryer Diabetic-Friendly Macaroni and Cheese -- Serves 4+
1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups of milk (I use 1 percent)
1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of minced dried onion
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of protein penne pasta, uncooked and divided
3/4 - 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Spritz a souffle or casserole dish large enough to hold at least 4 1/2 cups (I use a 7-inch round souffle dish) with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom of your air fryer basket with aluminum foil (to catch drips--you can omit it, but it will help with cleanup). In a large bowl whisk together well the cottage cheese, milk, mustard, pepper, salt, onion powder, dried onion, and eggs. Put about a third of the mixture in the bottom of your prepared dish and top it with half of the penne (1/4 cup). Sprinkle on top of the penne half of the cheddar and half of the grated Parmesan. Pour on another third of the liquid mixture. Sprinkle on the remaining pasta, then the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining liquid mixture. Carefully put the filled dish in your air fryer basket, put the basket in the air fryer, and air fry the mac n' cheese at 320 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until the mac n' cheese is a deep, spotty, golden brown and mostly firm to the touch. If the casserole looks like it is browning too much, you can turn down the temperature to 300 degrees. Let the mac n' cheese cool for at least five minutes before serving it. I recommend using a plate lifter to CAREFULLY lift the hot dish from the air fryer basket. Alternatively, oven gloves work well as long as the fingers have "grippers" on them.