This one-dish meal will win over adults and children alike. Substitute English peas or fresh spinach for the broccoli, if you prefer.
3 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces reduced-fat processed American cheese, cut into pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)
How to Make It
Steam broccoli 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Pat dry, and keep warm. Cook pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain and keep warm. Wipe pan with paper towels, and return to medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk to the flour mixture in pan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick, and remove from heat. Add American cheese; stir until smooth. Stir in sliced green onions and the remaining ingredients. Stir in broccoli and pasta; serve immediately.
I wasn't sure this was going to be as tasty as it was, but we enjoyed it for a veggie-enriched mac and cheese. I subbed sharp cheddar for American cheese for more taste, added some hot pepper sauce, and increased the bacon, because bacon makes everything better. Next time I will consider adding some diced red pepper for a bit more flavor and for some color. That said, it was easy to make (especially if you cook the broccoli in with the pasta), quick, and tasty.
I really enjoyed this recipe. The flavors are fantastic, and (With some modifications) I have easy access to all of the ingredients. I've made this recipe once before using the American Cheese, and consequently it had that plastic-y flavor which I do not enjoy. Tonight I decided to use straight medium cheese. No Sharp. No American. It tasted quite fantastic.
Mac and cheese in general is not my favorite, but this is an exception. My husband loved it, said so with the first bite and it is my favorite as well. Definitely a keeper. To keep the fats down more, I used turkey bacon. Really yummy!
I've been looking for a creamy Mac n cheese recipe for a while, and this didn't disappoint. I made it straight without the broccoli or bacon, and the flavor and texture were wonderful. My cheddar had some horseradish in it, that made for a nice extra kick. I might cut back the salt just a tad next time. Otherwise, delicious and simple. I look forward to making it with the broc n bacon.
This recipe suprised me as to how easy it was and also how much food it made. The sauce was fabulous and it was gone as quickly as it was prepared. Will definitely cook this on a regular basis and perhaps add some chicken to it.
Well, I think this has potential but is definately missing something. I used red bell peppers both for color and flavor instead of green onion and I didn't have any american cheese so used mozzarella and cheddar. I wanted the sauce to be more creamy and it needed more flavor. I will try sauteed onions and garlic with garlic powder as well as onion powder next time and go from there.
Excellent recipe! I just made this winner last night, and I can't wait to have some leftovers later this week; definitely a keeper. My husband who usually hates mac & cheese (I know, he must be an alien) even loved this recipe! I disagree with other reviewers about "easy" since it is a few steps and lots of pots, but in the end, I thought it was worth it! A few changes: 1) used bow tie pasta for preference; 2) used Havarti cheese in lieu of American cheese; 3) Added 1 tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder and red pepper and added a dash of salt to taste; 4) used (4) 12-oz slices of bacon & 5) omitted the green onions. Also, I usually don't go for using the 2% milk (I just use what we have on hand 1% or skim), but I ended up having a bit of 2% milk and used it in this recipe, which I think was the reason the cheese sauce was as tasty as it came out to be on this one. Would recommend following directlions exactly for the milk base. Will be making this again - enjoy!