My most popular post on this blog is one for a very tasty homestyle Dutch oven mac and cheese recipe. If you haven’t checked that one out yet, you probably should. It’s legit. I wrote that post a very long time ago and it’s been tested thoroughly. People love it. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world – I’ll grant you that. But as far as mac and cheese goes, it’ll hit the spot.
I generally don’t eat a lot of mac and cheese because I’m so busy preparing and trying out all sorts of other types of recipes, but when I see a dish that looks good, I’ll go for it. That’s what I did here. The original recipe actually called for cauliflower, but when I found out that that cost $4 a head, I decided to go with broccoli instead. I ain’t paying $4 for any cauliflower, especially when it’s less than half that price other times of the year. I’d say broccoli was a good alternative because it soaked up the creaminess of the ingredients and was pretty awesome to eat. Cauliflower would have been great too, but I’ll take what I can get. Overall, this was a very good mac and cheese recipe and I’ll keep it on my list to make in the future.
This recipe isn’t too involved, so you won’t need that many different ingredients. I prefer short ingredient lists myself. What you’ll need; pasta, milk, cheese, flour bread crumbs, broccoli, parsley and a few other minor items. From start to finish, preparing this dish will take about an hour, so that’s not too bad, considering most of the time will be consumed by the baking in the oven.
8 Ounces Dry Pasta Shells
3 Cups Broccoli Crowns, Chopped
2 Cups Milk
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 Cups Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1/3 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons Parsley, Minced
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
Ground Black Pepper
I’d like to thank Hannaford for their Fresh publication. I pulled this recipe from that and I truly enjoyed it.
Arrange one of your oven racks so it’s in the center position and then pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook Pasta & Broccoli
Fill a large pot about half way with water. Then add one tablespoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and once boiling, add the pasta. Allow the pasta to cook for six minutes and then add in the broccoli and let cook for another minute. Then, strain everything through a colander, add to a large bowl and set aside.
Make the Sauce
Bring the milk to a light boil in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the flour, mustard, garlic, one teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Continue whisking for about three minutes. Things should smooth out and thicken up during that time. After that, turn off the heat and add in the cheddar cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese is melted. Then, pour this mixture over the pasta in the bowl and toss until all the pasta is coasted with the sauce. Once that’s complete, transfer the contents of the bowl to a baking dish.
Prepare the Breadcrumb Topping
In a medium sized bowl, add the breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese and butter and mix until combined. Then, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the pasta.
Bake the Pasta
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and add the dish to the oven. Allow to bake for 20 minutes before removing the foil and baking for another 5 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to brown somewhat. When that’s complete, remove the mac and cheese from the oven and serve while hot. Enjoy!
If you decide to give this recipe a try, please let me know your thoughts down below. Thanks for reading!