Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade, baked, macaroni and cheese is probably one of my favorite things. I've made many versions, some lackluster, some weird (buffalo chicken mac and cheese, anyone?), and some perfect, like last night's version. As usual, my favorite place recently to search for recipes is SkinnyTaste. Again, Gina did not disappoint! This version includes broccoli and doesn't use 8 pounds of butter. It's perfectly creamy and with some panko breadcrumbs and a little extra sprinkling o' cheese, it was quite literally one of the best mac and cheeses I have ever had.

Also, I don't have a picture because it was THAT good. What's left of it doesn't make a nice picture.

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Modified slightly from SkinnyTaste

  • box of elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 8 oz (2 cups) Sargento shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar, plus an extra handful
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. spicy mustard
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets (I used frozen, it was what I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

1. Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). 

2. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. 
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. In a large, heavy skillet, melt butters. Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.Season with salt and pepper.
5. Once the sauce is thick, remove from heatadd cheese and spicy mustard and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. 
6. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with the extra handful of grated cheese and then breadcrumbs.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden.

I dare you to not inhale this.

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