We’ve been majorly struggling with Noah’s eating habits these days. All he wants to eat is junk and I’m really starting to worry. I don’t know what caused it to happen so suddenly. We haven’t been eating perfectly lately but certainly not terribly. So I told him our vacation this week is the last hurrah then we’re getting down to business and eating clean again. I don’t think anybody in our house, except for me, is happy about it.
This recipe isn’t clean but it’s a surefire way to get my kids to eat vegetables. I’m always an advocate for sneaking them in wherever I can. Though they can see the broccoli, there’s enough pasta and cheese to distract them.
I’ve always loved broccoli in my macaroni and cheese (even as a kid) so I loved this quick and easy stovetop version. I grew up on baked macaroni and cheese, which is still my favorite, but it’s nice to have a fast option for weeknights. I love to serve this with grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts slathered in barbecue sauce. Something about the combination is perfect for me.
Feel free to switch out the cheese for your favorites but I have to tell you, the combination of the sharp cheddar and colby was pretty magical. Buuut, I feel that way about most cheeses. When my Grandma was visiting recently, she asked if I could ever be a vegetarian or vegan. I told her I think I could give up meat/poultry but never, ever cheese. Because of recipes like this.
Stovetop Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb. short cut pasta
3/4 lb. broccoli, bite size
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups whole milk, warmed
8 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
8 oz. colby cheese, shredded
1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli. Drain. Put back into empty pot.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Slowly add about 1/3 of the milk, whisking while adding. Stir until slightly thickened then add another 1/3. Stir again until combined and slightly thickened then add the last of the milk. Stir until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Combine the cheese sauce with the noodles and broccoli and serve.