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Bring some excitement to dinnertime with this Cilantro Lime Baked Mac and Cheese with Shrimp! The whole family will go wild for it! Plus, it’s ready in around 30 minutes! This baked dish will have your taste buds celebrating! Thanks to Mazola® Corn Oil, I lightened up this comfort food recipe without skimping on taste! A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.
I made three better-for-you ingredient swaps to lessen the guilt without diminishing the deliciousness! First, I subbed in Mazola Corn Oil instead of butter for the shrimp marinade and the sauce. Next, I used half and half instead of heavy cream for the cheese sauce. And lastly, I topped the whole thing with bread crumbs instead of oodles of cheese. I know you’re going to be happy with the result!
When school starts up again, the evenings tend to get a lot busier! There’s homework and projects to do and activities to attend. We seem to be running here and there and everywhere, trying to get it all done. Are you the same way? Where does dinner fit into all this craziness?
When it seems like there’s no time for a home-cooked meal (which is pretty much always the case at our house), I know I need an easy option that’s ready in a flash! Today’s baked mac and cheese totally fits the bill! My family (including four very picky kiddos) gave it two thumbs way up and is already asking when I’m going to make it again!
I’m chalking it up to a major win!
Did you know that September is National Cholesterol Awareness month? So for this month and from here on out, we are using Mazola Corn Oil in our meal prep!
Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol free cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. It has a variety of uses including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing.
Mazola has a smoke point higher than most cooking oils at 450°F and performs well in a variety of cooking applications. Many home cooks may not realize that all cooking oils have a smoke point that, once exceeded, negatively affects the food’s flavor and nutritional value.
Reducing saturated fats and cholesterol in your meals is so easy with simple swaps, such as substituting Mazola Corn Oil for butter, just like I did in today’s recipe.
I know your family will be singing praises about this meal, just like mine did! I’ve always loved shrimp, but with the flavors of lime and cilantro and baked into a macaroni casserole, it’s absolutely irresistible!
Here’s how to put it together:
First, marinate the shrimp for a few hours. Next, prepare the sauce by combining Mazola Corn Oil, half and half, whole milk and flour. Allow that to thicken over the stovetop on medium heat, while stirring constantly. Next, stir in the cheese and add salt to taste.
Toss the cooked macaroni noodles in the sauce mixture and pour into an 8×8″ casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for approximately 10-15 minutes. Then, drain the shrimp marinade and place the shrimp pieces on top of the casserole. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and return to the oven to bake just until the shrimp are pink, or about 9-11 minutes. Serve immediately with fresh-squeezed lime juice and additional chopped cilantro on top, if desired.
- 16 oz. large shrimp tails and shells removed
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. Mazola Corn Oil
- 1/2 of a Jalapeño diced finely (seeds and membranes removed)
- 1/8 tsp. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Cheese Sauce:
- 1 Tbsp. Mazola Corn Oil
- 1 c. Half and half
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 c. grated pepper jack cheese
- Salt to taste
- 2 1/2 c. elbow macaroni noodles cooked according to package directions and drained
- 1 crust of bread made into breadcrumbs
- To make the marinade, combine fresh lime juice, minced garlic, chopped fresh cilantro, Mazola Corn Oil, diced jalapeño, sugar and salt in a bag with a zip top. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Place bag in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours.
- Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions and drain. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the sauce by combining Mazola Corn Oil, half and half and whole milk in a large skillet on the stovetop. Whisk in flour. Set heat to medium and stir constantly until mixture simmers and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheddar cheese and grated pepper jack cheese. Add salt to taste. Add cooked macaroni noodles to the sauce and toss to coat. Pour mixture into an 8"x8" casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, remove the foil, and place shrimp pieces on top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and return the dish to the oven. Bake for approximately 9-11 minutes more, or just until the shrimp turn pink, indicating that they are done. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro before serving, if desired.
The next time you’re scrambling and need a homemade meal in a hurry, look no further than this Cilantro Lime Baked Mac and Cheese with Shrimp! It’s simple enough for busy weeknights, yet classy enough for weekend enjoyment. It really is a winner of a dinner!