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Friday, March 13, 2015

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese


I'm still on my quest to find a good mac and cheese recipe. I found this one via the website I use to track my calories and it made a 9x13 pan which was perfect for several pre-portioned lunches for work and school.

Recipe adapted from My Fitness Pal.*

Ingredients:
-13.25 oz (approx. 1 box) whole wheat fusilli pasta
-1 1/2 tbsp butter
-1/4 cup minced onion
-1/4 cup flour
-2 cups 1% milk
-1 cup vegetable broth 
-1 cup mozzarella cheese
-1 cup Jarlsberg cheese (or swiss)
-12 oz fresh broccoli florets
-8 ounces mushrooms
-2 tbsp grated parmesan
-1/4 cup bread crumbs
-cooking spray

*This version will make a 9x13 pan of macaroni and cheese or approximately twelve one cup servings.

Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. .

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add the onions and mushrooms, 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 vegetable broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper if you'd like (some red pepper would be good in here too!)

Remove the skiller from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

This recipe was originally made with cheddar cheese, but as I was mid-recipe I realized that we were out of that. We always have an over abundance of cheese so I was able to mix together two different types. However, mozzarella is not the best cheese to use for macaroni and cheese, because it doesn't melt too great. Overall, this tasted good, but it wasn't the traditional mac and cheese texture due to the cheese. The mushrooms and broccoli added some nice depth to the recipe. 

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