Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

I spent much of my day yesterday working on my Daring Bakers Challenge (which I'll post next week), so by the time 4:30 pm rolled around, I needed to whip up something quick for dinner.  I quickly grabbed a box of Ronzoni elbows from the pantry, and found a large head of broccoli in the fridge that needed attention, so I decided mac & cheese with broccoli on the side would be good.  Once I finished making the cheese sauce and added the cooked pasta, I was worried that I didn't have enough noodles for the amount of sauce.  I had already cooked the broccoli in the pasta water, so I decided to throw it in with the mac & cheese, instead of serving it on the side.  Boy am I glad I did.  The broccoli soaked up the sauce and was very tasty.   My oldest son loved the dish, but the other two kids only ate the pasta and picked out the broccoli.  Oh well, more broccoli for me!  


Lisa's Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

2 cups half-n-half
2 cups 2% milk
1 16ox box of elbow macaroni
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
6 tablespoons  butter
1/2 cup  flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 
1 tsp minced onion
2 dashes ground red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup mexican blend shredded cheese (or whatever you have on hand)

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.

In large saucepan over medium heat, warm the half-n-half and milk together. 

In another large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to directions on box.  2 minutes before pasta is finished cooking, add the broccoli, finish cooking and drain.

In a dutch oven,  melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook for 1-2  minutes.  Add salt & pepper.  Slowly add the warm milk mixture, while stiring with a whisk.  This will thicken up really well.  Turn off the heat and add the cheddar cheese, minced onion and ground red pepper (if using).  Once cheese is melted, add the pasta with the broccoli and mix.   Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of extra cheese.  Bake at 375 for approximately 30-40 minutes, until bubbling and the top is nicely brown.  Enjoy!   Serves 6-8 people.


Kristin said...

One of my favorite ways to eat mac and cheese too- amazing comfort food!!!

Lisa said...

Definitely. I actually ate some of the left overs for breakfast yesterday! Of course, I had to spend a few hours cleaning to try and work it off. :)