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Cheesy Broccoli Mac

on January 1, 2014

Click Here to Print: Cheesy Broccoli Mac

Absolutely better than that stuff in a box!

Absolutely better than that stuff in a box!

I love yummy, homemade recipes I can whip up with ingredients I have on hand.  This one is perfect for a weekend lunch if I haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery yet.  I think fresh is best, but if you sub frozen broccoli, all the ingredients are likely items you already have… and if not, buy them now and they will keep for whenever you want to make this good ol’ stand-by!

Not sure if it saves any vitamins, but I use the broccoli water to cook the pasta, too.

Not sure if it saves any vitamins, but I use the broccoli water to cook the pasta, too.  It just seems like a shame to throw away that beautifully green-tinted water.

Looks good, huh?

You could just mix it up, stop here, and eat it like this…

...but I think baking it with the extra cheese and paprika makes it especially yummy!

…but I think baking it with the extra cheese and paprika makes it especially yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 c milk
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ c shredded cheddar, divided
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 1 ½ c elbow macaroni
  • sprinkling of paprika

Instructions:

  1. Fill a large saucepan with water and put it on to boil.
  2. Trim the broccoli and add it to the pan, cooking until bright and tender.
  3. Take the broccoli out with a slotted spoon, reserving the water.
  4. Add macaroni to the broccoli water and cook.
  5. While pasta is cooking, chop broccoli into bite size pieces.
  6. Melt butter in another saucepan and whisk in flour to make a roux.
  7. Add milk slowly, whisking to avoid lumps.
  8. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  9. Continue to whisk until smooth and boiling.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese.
  11. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan.
  12. Add broccoli and cheese sauce to the pan with macaroni and mix to combine.
  13. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with remaining ½ c cheese.
  14. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 425° until brown and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Here are some ideas to get your “kid cook” involved with this recipe:

  • While the broccoli is cooking, allow him to play with the uncooked noodles – there’s that sensory play again! He can count the noodles and arrange them into shapes, too.
  • Have him help chop the broccoli with a kid knife (or butter knife).
  • Have him top the casserole dish with cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

 

Go ahead, put your hands in the bowl, too.  It feels pretty cool!

Go ahead, put your hands in the bowl, too. It feels pretty cool!

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4 responses to “Cheesy Broccoli Mac

  1. acuriousgal says:

    Perfect for my boys!!!

  2. I love love love broccoli in mac and cheese. My honey disagrees, but that’s OK! 🙂 Yum.

    • Alicia says:

      I do too! It would be easy enough to make this and add the broccoli in for you but leave it out for him! My honey doesn’t mind the broccoli but he does always add an extra ingredient to his… hot sauce!

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