Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and Cheese

Written by Diana - December 5, 2012 3 Comments

Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and CheeseThis is my way of dealing with my husband’s new low sodium diet – by coming up with new ways to eat without using salt or high sodium ingredients.  Macaroni and cheese was out, because cheese has too much sodium unless it’s something a little on the bland side like lower sodium Swiss. So, I kicked it up with a Hot Sweet Pepper Relish and Kapow it was tasty without much sodium. This casserole had plenty of veggies, the creaminess of a good mac n cheese, and a nice kick to it. My husband had trouble backing away from the bowl even after eating two plates of it.

This is a much lower calorie version since we can’t use a lot of cheese, and it’s not as thick as a lot of other macaroni and cheese recipes.  I like to add a veggie to my mac and cheese too, so this one had sauteed cabbage and leeks.  I found a low sodium brown rice bread.  The bread was too dry and bland for a sandwich, but toasted, ground up and sauteed in a little butter and sprinkled on top of the macaroni and cheese, it added a nice texture and bit of crunch to the top.  Believe me, bread crumbs was a much better use of the bread than in a sandwich. The photo doesn’t show the bread crumbs, but the next time I did this – I used the bread crumbs and liked it better.  So that’s how I do it now.

Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a lower sodium, lower fat method of cooking macaroni and cheese, with a light cheese sauce and some cabbage and leeks.
Recipe type: Casserole
Serves: 4
  • Cheese Sauce:
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 ounces chevre
  • 4-6 ounces low sodium Swiss Cheese
  • 2 tbs zesty pepper relish
  • 1 tsp stoneground mustard
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • Casserole ingredients:
  • ½ lb macaroni prepared according to box directions
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • ¼ cabbage
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • Crumb Topping:
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbs butter
  1. Cook ground lamb, pour off grease and let drain on paper towel.
  2. Cut the cabbage into 1 in X 1 in pieces.
  3. Dice red pepper.
  4. Dice the white part of the leek, removing the green stem and root.
  5. Saute the leek, red pepper and cabbage in olive oil, in a non-stick pan.
  6. When soft and translucent, remove to a bowl, wipe out pan and use for cheese sauce.
  7. In non-stick pan melt butter, add in the flour and combine.
  8. Add in milk and chevre whisking as it thickens.
  9. Chop swiss cheese and add to the sauce mixture, stir in zesty pepper relish, mustard, cumin and paprika.
  10. Whisk it all together.
  11. Add together the lamb/cabbage mixture, the drained pasta and the sauce and toss.
  12. Pour into a casserole dish.
  13. Melt butter and stir in bread crumbs.
  14. Sprinkle over top of the mac and cheese.
  15. Bake at 400 for 20 min or until crust is browned nicely.
I used Wishwell Farms Hot Sweet Pepper Relish in my mac and cheese, but you can take any relish and zip it up a little with some hot sauce. You can sub out a different vegetable for the cabbage. My husband and I like cooked cabbage but you can use any vegetable you like best, just make sure it's mostly cooked before adding it to the mac and cheese. I used stoneground no sodium mustard, but you can use another stoneground, or dijon mustard.



Read the Comments

3 Outstanding Responses to "Zesty Cabbage, Macaroni and Cheese"

    Rachel Tayse on December 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I chop up cauliflower and add to my mac and cheese. Once it’s baked, kids don’t even notice that they’re eating vegetables!

    Diana on December 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    My kids were good vegetable eaters and have enjoyed cauliflower and other veggies in the mac and cheese, but it can be a good dinner trick. I think it tastes more interesting with veggies and meat in it, don’t you?

    Carol @ Thyme to Cook on December 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Looks delicious and packed with great flavors. We’d love mac and cheese with vegetables!

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