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Dietitian's Flavors to Savor

mac and cheese with broccoli

A simple & comforting dinner meal!

This quick weeknight recipe for Homemade Mac & Cheese is a favorite at our home.  

Try the recipe, learn more about steaming broccoli, and check out the Kids in the Kitchen section below!  

        • 12 oz (3/4 of a 1 lb box) uncooked macaroni or other pasta, can use whole grain options
        • 2 Tbsp canola oil
        • 1/4 cup flour
        • 2 cups 1% milk
        • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
        • 1/3 cup bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs (optional)

How to Make It:
  1.   Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2.   In the meantime, heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over med heat or just a touch higher.  Add flour and whisk until a paste forms.  Add the milk all at once, whisking to combine.  Continue to heat, stirring fairly often to avoid milk mixture burning on to the bottom of the pan and to improve thickening.  Cook milk mixture until it thickens to a consistency similar to alfredo sauce.  Remove pan from the heat.
  3.  Let the milk mixture cool down just a bit, and then add the cheese (if you add the cheese immediately the sauce won't be as smooth).  Stir until the cheese is melted and combined.  Add to the pasta and stir to coat.
  4.   You can eat as is, or add a bread crumb topping.  To add a crumb topping:  Turn your oven broiler on high.  Pour mac and cheese into an broiler safe pan coated with cooking spray.  Top with bread crumbs.  Put pan in the oven and broil until bread crumbs are golden brown (be alert, it happens fast!).  Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Dietitian's Note:  

My favorite side with this meal is steamed broccoli.  I like to make mine in an electric steamer, but you can also make broccoli by steaming in a microwave or cooking on the stove top.  For a short cut, buy fresh or frozen broccoli that is already cut into florets.  

This is the type of steamer I use and there are many other brands that make similar models.  Just add water to the bottom, add veggies, and push the button!  It usually takes 15 minutes and then I season the broccoli with a little salt/pepper or a cheese sprinkle I enjoy.

Image result for oster steamer

Kids in the Kitchen:
  • Small children can help with measuring the flour, transferring shredded cheese to a bowl so that it is all ready to go, or putting the bread crumbs on top.  They can also push the button for the electric steamer!

  • Older children can help with grating the cheese, measuring ingredients (great for math skills!), and prepping the broccoli.  If your child is old enough to be safe at the stove, they can help with stirring too!