Ok, so it’s Wednesday… But I cooked this on Sunday!
Macaroni and cheese has been a favorite staple food of mine. I used to make Paula Deen’s Cheesy Mac a lot. It was my staple comfort food, and also a “go to” for potlucks or dinner parties. Easy, delicious, totally unhealthy.
I have tried a few recipes for lightened up mac and cheese, and have been pretty disappointed in the results. Usually it ends up bland & flavorless and not worth the Points. Until I discovered Skinny Taste Baked Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese. I literally can’t stop thinking about how good this is. I’ve been going to a lot of lunch meetings this week, so I haven’t been bringing food, and I am genuinely regretting that!
Skinny Taste Inspired Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese
(This reflects the changes I made to the original recipe. It is half of the original, and makes 5 1 cup servings.)
1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni (I didn’t have whole wheat, but it can of course be used)
1 tbsp butter
1/8 cup flour
1/8 cup minced onion (I used red onion and just chopped some of it up, not an exact measurement)
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used what I had left, 1/2 bag shredded reduced fat taco cheese, and 1/2 cup full fat cheddar)
1 lb fresh broccoli
1/8 cup shredded parmesan (this is the same amount as in the full recipe)
1/8 cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat panko)
Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare a baking dish by spraying with cooking spray.
Chop up the broccoli to bite sized pieces, discarding the stems. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add broccoli and macaroni to pasta cooking directions (7-9 minutes)
In a skillet, melt the butter. Add onion and cook on low, about 2 minutes. Add flour, stirring until flour and butter combine and slightly brown. Whisk in milk and chicken broth, and raise heat to medium high. Bring to a boil, whisking mixture smooth. Allow to boil, while stirring often, to allow the sauce to thicken and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove sauce from heat and mix in cheese. Stir until melted. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Drain pasta and broccoli. Pour pasta mixture in to prepared baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over pasta, stir to combine.
Top with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Spray with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. You can also broil it to get the breadcrumbs more golden brown, but I don’t have a boiler, and it worked out just fine!