Cheesy macaroni and broccoli are topped with bread crumbs and baked to perfection. Kid friendly, vegetarian and comfort food at it's finest.
I first made this back in 2011, and it has since been very popular. Last week I made it again and updated the photos, I forgot just how good this is! This time I used rotini pasta, you can really use whatever shape you like. My step by step photos are still the original, so keep that in mind when you make this.
It's perfect if you're craving macaroni and cheese but don't want to waste a days worth of calories in one meal. You still get that same comforting taste, with a little less guilt.
When I first made this, I used a Mexican blend of cheese, because it was all I had on hand, but since I've been making it with a sharp reduced-fat Cheddar such as 50% less-fat Cabot, in my opinion this is better with a sharp cheddar to really let the cheesy flavors stand out.
To speed things up, I used pre-cut fresh broccoli. This recipe was loved by all in my home, even my not-so-crazy-about-broccoli husband loved it and leftovers are perfect for lunch. You can bake this in one large baking dish, or individual oven safe dishes for perfect portion control, or you can make half and use a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points +: 8 pts • Smart Points: 8
Calories: 314.9 • Fat: 9.8 g • Protein: 17.7 g • Carb: 44.3 g • Fiber: 6.3 g • Sugar: 4 g
Sodium: 215.7 (without salt)
- 12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
- 8 oz (2 cups) reduced-fat sharp cheddar (Cabot 50%)
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 12 oz fresh broccoli florets (I used pre-cut bag)
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- cooking spray
Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add onion and 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 chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.