Serves 16, 1/2 cup per serving
- 1 small head broccoli
- 5 ounces cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) package whole wheat macaroni
- 1½ cups nonfat milk
- 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons light cream cheese
- Box grater
- Cutting board
- Large pot
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Sharp knife
- Small pot with lid
1. Rinse and chop broccoli.
2. Grate cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add broccoli and just enough water to cover half way. Heat in microwave until bright green and tender, about 6–8 minutes.
4. Cook pasta following package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside. While pasta is cooking, make cheese sauce.
5. In a small pot over medium heat, heat milk. When hot, remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.
6. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour. Whisk with a fork, stirring constantly.
7. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, until sauce thickens. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
8. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cream cheese, grated cheese, and broccoli. Stir until grated cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
9. Add macaroni to cheese sauce. Stir to coat.
- Use any veggies you like. Try using 1½ cups chopped tomatoes, steamed cauliflower, cooked peas, butternut squash, or spinach instead of broccoli.
- For a heartier version, in step 8 add 1 (12-ounce) can tuna, packed in water, drained. Or, add cubed and cooked chicken pieces.
- For extra flavor, add ½ teaspoon dried thyme or any herbs and spices you like. Mix into the sauce with the salt and pepper.
- Use other whole wheat pasta, like penne or shells, instead of macaroni.
- Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
- Top the dish with some breadcrumbs to add some texture to the dish