Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

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This easy, homemade, baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid’s favorite dish! It’s also lightened up, so less calories than traditional mac and cheese.

This easy, homemade, baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish! It's also lightened up, so less calories than traditional mac and cheese.
Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is total comfort food, I make many variations, some I love are this Greek Mac and Cheese, Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, or this low-carb Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese. But this broccoli version is always a hit with the kids.

This homemade, lightened up baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish!

It’s perfect if you’re craving macaroni and cheese without wasting an entire days worth of calories in one meal. You still get that same comforting taste. This recipe, which I first posted back in 2013 was loved by all in my home, even my not-so-crazy-about-broccoli husband loved it and leftovers are perfect for lunch.

Tips and Variations

  • For a stove-top broccoli mac and cheese, omit the crumb topping and serve right out of the pot.
  • To speed things up, I used pre-cut fresh broccoli.
  • You can bake this in one large baking dish, or individual oven safe dishes for portion control.
  • You can halve the recipe and use a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

This homemade, lightened up baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish!

This homemade, lightened up baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish!

This homemade, lightened up baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish!This homemade, lightened up baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish!

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This easy, homemade, baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish! It's also lightened up, so less calories than traditional mac and cheese.
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4.79 from 66 votes
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Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

315 Cals 18 Protein 44 Carbs 10 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Yield: 8
COURSE: Dinner, Side Dish
CUISINE: American
This easy, homemade, baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish! It's also lightened up, so less calories than traditional mac and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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°F.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 216mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: baked mac and cheese, baked macaroni and cheese, baked macaroni and cheese recipe, broccoli mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese with broccoli

This homemade, lightened up baked mac and cheese recipe adds broccoli to the mix, a great way to sneak veggies in a kid's favorite dish!

Photo Credit: Jess Larson

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453 comments

  1. I normally don’t want to be that person, but I loved the recipe AND I made some changes. Using 2 cups of fat free milk and 1 cup of chicken broth is what I was looking for in a lower calorie Mac ‘n Cheese. The crunchy top was great. The only changes I made was sautéing the veggies in with the butter and onions because I already had cooked pasta leftover. I added garlic, cauliflower (leftover) and asparagus (also leftover) just to use them up.

    This will be my go-to mac ‘n cheese recipe. Thank you.

  2. I made this last night, as written, for my vegetarian daughter.  Everyone loved it and we’ll definitely make again.  Thanks, Gina

  3. So love the taste and the simplicity of this “nearly” healthy dish

  4. I’ve made this time and time again and loved it every time! Most recently I tried subbing in chickpea pasta, and it came out just as good.

  5. Made this for dinner tonight and so tasty.  Toddler approved, she had seconds.  I recommend using food scale to weigh cheese, it looked like much more than 2 cups measured

  6. Made this tonight. Added some leftover rotisserie chicken to make it a complete meal. It was good

  7. I really wanted to like this. I understand it is a lower calorie mac and cheese. Mine just wasn’t cheesy enough for me. It was super fast and easy. I also added a bag of cauliflower rice I wanted to use up and some roasted red pepper. Both were great. I also use cashew milk, which worked just fine. If I make this again, I think I will add garlic and yes, more cheese. : )

  8. Made a half recipe of this this evening for dinner to use up some aging broccoli. I also had some leftover fresh dill weed, which I chopped up and added in. Gave it a nice flavor boast!  Leftovers for lunch! Thanks Gina! 

  9. I made this tonight for my super picky eater, boyfriend. He loved it! He couldn’t stop eating it, he had two servings.

  10. This was delicious! I’ve already made it twice 

  11. Recommendations for how to freeze this recipe? Thanks!

    • We just enjoyed the uncooked frozen half of this recipe.  I split the recipe and baked half, froze half.  Before freezing I allowed it to cool completely, covered with plastic wrap and then with foil.  Last night I transferred it from the freezer to the fridge.  About an hour before putting it in a oven, the dish was placed on the counter trop.  Cooked the defrosted portion in the oven as directed.  It was delicious.

  12. Is there any sub for the chicken broth? The one I have in my fridge just expired. Or has anyone made this recipe without the broth? 

  13. Made this on Saturday. Now have a few lunches ready to pack. Delicious. Used frozen broccoli flowerets from Birds Eye Steam Fresh. So easy.
    Thank you again for another great recipe

  14. So delicious! Thank you so much for your site, WW points and delicious recipes!

  15. so goooood thank’s a lot !!!!

  16. A lot of Skinny Taste receipes have made it into our regular rotation, but unfortunately I don’t think this one will. This may sound crazy due to the amount of cheese in the receipe, but it didn’t taste cheesy at all. It was all very bland. The best part was the parmesan crust. If making this again, I would almost over salt the salt before combining it with the macaroni and maybe add some garlic powder or something to give it more than one note of taste.

    • I found it tastes better when you don’t bake it. I wasn’t a huge fan the first time I made it and baked it but the second time I made it I didn’t bake it and it had much more flavor!

      • I agree.  It’s best the first day.  The sauce seems to sink into the pasta a bit and disappear so it was good the second time but not as good as the first.   That said, it’s still on repeat at our house because it is still much better than frozen.

  17. Any recommendations on pastas? Because my grocery store doesn’t have the smart taste Ronzoni :(…

  18. My kids usually protest veggies in their mac and cheese, but they really liked this recipe (as did my husband and I). We didn’t have skim milk or reduced-fat cheese, so I used 2% milk and regular sharp shredded cheese and also increased the amount broccoli (because I like a lot of veggies) and it was happily consumed. Thanks for sharing the recipe. This is in our bi-weekly rotation now.

  19. I have a question. The recipe says “8 oz 2 cups” for the cheese. Does that mean either weigh and use 8 oz or measure 2 cups, or something else? Thanks!

  20. I think I make this once a week, perfect to serve with chicken nuggets