Baked bliss

12 Feb

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese. It’s straight up comfort food. It’s warm, creamy and cheesy. It’s perfect for a Friday night in.

I knew for the last two weeks I wanted to make a healthy baked macaroni and cheese, but I waited until I bought the sharpest cheddar cheese I could find and until I had the time to put together a recipe. It was a hit last night—and I can’t wait to dig into the leftovers this weekend.

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Here’s the recipe (adapted from Eating Well):

3 tablespoons Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon olive oil

8 ounces whole wheat pasta, such as rotini

12 ounces broccoli, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided

2 tablespoons flour

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, such as Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a round or square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

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In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs and spices, add oil and mix until absorbed. Set aside.

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In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. In the same pot, heat 1 1/4 cups milk over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding. Meanwhile, whisk flour into 1/4 cup milk and set aside.

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Add thickened milk to heated milk and stir to combine. Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese is melted and mixture comes together.

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Add broccoli then pasta and stir to combine.

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Remove mixture from heat. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy and cheese sauce is bubbly.

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Let stand about 5 minutes, then serve.

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Holy awesome-sauce. Creamy. Cheesy. Warm. Chock full of fiber, protein and vegetables. It doesn’t get much better than this on a cold Friday night.

Make this recipe now. That is all.

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4 Responses to “Baked bliss”

  1. Libbi February 13, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    This looks very yummy, i will have to try it.. my kids usually object to anything that isn’t “Kraft mac n cheese”, but as the kids dwindle down, i am ready to find one that is healthier and made for me rather than them.

    • kaylabee18 March 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      It doesn’t take much to make it grown up…just a different cheese or two, whole wheat noodles and a veggie. Make it your own!

  2. Jacquelyn February 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Wow! I think I’ll take you up on this- I’m putting it on the menu plan for this week. Can’t wait 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe and for the helpful photos! Our farm family owners appreciate your Cabot support!
    ~Jacquelyn

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