Roasted Broccoli Mac and Cheese

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If there was one food I could eat over and over again, it would absolutely have to be pasta, specifically mac and cheese. There is something so delicious and comforting about a cheesy baked pasta dish. The savory, cheesy, texture from the pasta combined with the roasted, charred broccoli literally sends my tastebuds on a flavorful journey, one that I could embark everyday. I know how important it is to get vegetables in daily, and by adding broccoli to this dish, it incorporates the best of both worlds. *cue Hannah Montana*

Broccoli mac and cheese is obviously not a new invention, but I do know that most of the recipes I've read call for steaming or blanching the broccoli, not necessarily roasting. One of my favorite ways to prep broccoli is by roasting, so I thought how bad could it be to add it to macaroni and cheese? MINDBLOWN. Not only does this dish amp up a fan favorite of broccoli, but it adds another layer of texture and flavor. Macaroni and cheese in and of itself is insanely delicious, so making this roasted broccoli mac and cheese version was simply perfection. Plus, the first time I ever made it (and shared with the world on IG), I was being admitted into labor and delivery to give birth to my son, so I have a special bond with this dish regardless of how tasty it is.

Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients:

  • Pasta: any kind will do, I used shells here and I was super happy with them. I will say, short pasta like fusilli, shells, and of course macaroni will work best.
  • Shallot: minced and sautéed adds amazing flavor.
  • Roux: a roux is a mixture of butter and flour, whisked together to form a thick paste-like consistency. This aids in thickening a sauce or in this case, a cheese sauce.
  • Cream or milk: a key ingredient in making the cheese sauce for the mac and cheese
  • Stock: helps make the cheese sauce
  • Cheese: it wouldn't be mac and cheese with cheese! Sharp or mild cheddar works perfectly here, or feel free to branch out to other varieties!

Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese Tips:

  • Cook the pasta a few minutes less than what the box or package suggests, you'll be baking the pasta so it will cook a little more as it bakes. Nothing tastes as bad as overcooked and chewy pasta.
  • If the cheese sauce gets a little goopy and not as "saucy," add in more stock and continue whisking. It'll thin out!
  • Add in as much or as little of broccoli as you want! We added in a little over a cup in this dish, but sometimes we add in more. It all depends on how much of the vegetable you want in there.

As the new year begins to unfold, we are always more aware of what we eat, how much we eat, and I say ditch the mindset of dieting and restricting yourself. Enjoy the cake, eat the pasta, and incorporate health when you can and need! Who says life needs to be boring? NO ONE. Make this mac and cheese and indulge to your heart's desire.

Roasted Broccoli Mac and Cheese

A classic macaroni and cheese, but add broccoli. This timeless classic of mac and cheese only gets better with roasted broccoli thrown into the mix. Make this dinner ahead of time and pat yourself on the back, I guarantee your family will sing your praises after this roasted broccoli mac and cheese.

Author:
Morgan

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg short pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup veggie stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese
  • 1 cup roasted broccoli
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Broccoli:

  • 1 pkg broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • pepper

Instructions

To roast the broccoli:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the broccoli in olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool. DO NOT shut off the oven, you'll bake the mac and cheese for a short time.

For the Mac and Cheese:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook your desired pasta a minute or two less than the box or package indicates. Strain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté the shallot in the olive oil over a medium heat, and cook until fragrant and slightly translucent.
  3. Add in the butter and melt. Pour int he flour and whisk until it combines and forms a thick texture.
  4. To the roux (flour and butter), add in the heavy cream and stock. Bring the heat down a touch and let the roux come to a gentle boil.
  5. Turn off the heat, pour in the cheese, and stir to combine. Let the cheese fully melt and then add in the pasta.
  6. Pour in the broccoli to the pasta, fold in the broccoli, and mix to combine.
  7. Transfer the broccoli mac and cheese to an oven safe baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool before serving or cover for another night as a meal prep.

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