Recipe: SkinnyTaste Baked Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

by Cate on October 29, 2018

Now that Fall weather is here, it’s the perfect time to be serving up comfort food, and this Baked Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese from Gina at SkinnyTaste is just the ticket.

I’ll be honest. I haven’t made mac and cheese in a few years. Mostly because my kids don’t really eat it. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. They also aren’t big fans of cheese. Go figure. #cheeseismyhappyplace

But last week, Nick happened to mention that he would eat mac and cheese if I made it, as long as I didn’t make “on of my weird recipes,” and a friend raved about SkinnyTaste’s recipe for Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese, so here we are.

I love how easy the recipe is to make, and cooking the broccoli directly in the pot with the pasta definitely is a time-saver. Because I do a lot of work with the folks at Cabot, I used two of their Cheddar varieties (namely a sharp and a medium) and hand-grated the cheese. Avoid buying pre-grated cheese any time you can – it makes a world of difference in taste.

The recipe was done in just over thirty minutes, which is such a huge help on busy Fall weeknights. With both kids doing cheer, four of our five weeknights are crazy, and making this in the beginning of the week made for relatively easy dinners. The only drawback? Madeline didn’t like it. She likes broccoli, and says she likes mac and cheese but … she remains my pickiest eater by far and is still a work in progress. Nick ate very basic bland food at her age (10) too, so I’m hoping she grows out of it.

Between the cheesiness, the slightly crisp topping, the bits of broccoli … this was the perfect comfort food dinner and despite my ten-year-old’s protests, it will go into our semi-regular rotation. Bonus points for it being reasonably healthy too!

8 Freestyle Points 315 calories

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes
PREP TIME:10 minutes
COOK TIME:25 minutes

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.

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
8 oz (2 cups) reduced-fat sharp cheddar (I used Cabot cheddar)
salt and fresh pepper to taste
12 oz fresh broccoli florets
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used whole wheat 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°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.

Yield: 8, Serving Size: 1 cup

Amount Per Serving:
Freestyle Points: 8
Points +: 8
Calories: 315 calories
Total Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 7mg
Sodium: 216mg
Carbohydrates: 44g
Fiber: 6g
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 18g


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