Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Who didn’t grow up loving macaroni and cheese? I know I did! One of my favorite meals was mac and cheese with chicken strips. We always ate the Velveeta rotini and cheese with broccoli and those lovely breaded chicken strips. It was so easy, and it was so delicious. It was also packed with sodium – but it had broccoli so that’s okay, right?

It took some time to find a healthier alternative to mac and cheese, but I finally did. And honestly, it is so easy, and SO delicious. I’ve adapted it from this recipe from skinnytaste.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 6 oz fresh broccoli
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbspΒ minced onion
  • 2 tbspΒ flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 4 oz reduced-fat sharp cheddar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • cooking spray

First, in a large pot, add pasta and broccoli to boiling water and cook until pasta is al dente. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

As the pasta and broccoli cook, melt the butter in a large skillet.Β Add minced onion and cook on low heat for 1 minute. Add flour and cook another minute. Add milk and chicken broth and cook on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer until sauce becomes thick and well-mixed. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat off and add cheese, mixing until cheese is melted. Add in the cooked pasta and broccoli and mix. Pour into the baking dish and top with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Add cooking spray to the top and bake for 20 minutes. Top with freshly chopped green onion and serve.

Serves 4.

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To complete my meal, I pan-fried thin-sliced chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper.

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