Every home chef needs a reliable Homemade Creamy Stove Top Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese recipe, and this is about to become your go-to recipe. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great baked mac and cheese, but every so often I want a mac and cheese that is quick and easy. Not to mention creamy and dreamy. This is perfect as it is loaded with cheese, and broccoli is sprinkled in to make it healthy.
I have been meaning to share this recipe for months now. Originally, it was going to be shared as a back-to-school dinner; but, then I got busy. Now, every time I walk down the pasta aisle and eye a box of mac and cheese, I think of this recipe and you. Then I dash over to the cheese aisle, grab the ingredients and head home to indulge. It is the ultimate meatless meal.
We are definitely in cuddle weather, and what better recipe to share then creamy stovetop mac and cheese. We love this dish. It is loaded with two kinds of cheddar, buttery shallots and fresh garlic. We like a little heat so the addition of chili flakes is perfect. The amount of cheese in this recipe is over the top, so the addition of broccoli makes me feel a little better about it. Isn’t it healthy that way?
When I am making either a stove-top or oven baked macaroni and cheese, I always undercook the pasta by a couple minutes. The reasoning for doing this? Even though you drain the pasta when the cooking time is up, it continues to cook. I don’t like the pasta to become mushy as it is mixed and/or baked with the creamy, cheesy bechamel mixture. Therefore, if the directions on the box of pasta say 8 minutes, only cook for 6. As well, I like to make a paste out of the fresh garlic. I simply peel the garlic and mash it with a little salt. I use a mortar and pestle to do this; but, if you don’t have one, then mashing with a knife is just as easy. I add the garlic paste after the shallots are softened. I do not like the bitter taste of over-cooked garlic and this method prevents that. All that you taste is lovely, fresh garlic.
Think of this recipe as a base for stove-top macaroni and cheese, as you can become very creative with it. For non- veggie loving fans, it is also great with chunks of smoked ham, grilled chicken, left-over Thanksgiving turkey or spicy chorizo. Or try adding blanched cauliflower or roasted butternut squash – so good.
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Homemade Creamy Stove Top Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 3 medium shallots, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup ap flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
- 2 1/2 cups mild cheddar, grated
- pinch of chili flakes
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 box elbow pasta
- 1 pound broccoli – tops only
- Blanch the broccoli and set aside to dry.
- Follow the cooking instructions on the Dreamsfield box, except cook the pasta 2 minutes less then recommended.
- Drain in a colander.
- Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- Set aside to drain. I lightly toss with my hands, occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Heat the butter in a large dutch oven over low heat.
- Add the shallots, stir and cook until soft; about 5minutes.
- Heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, until warm. Set aside.
- Using a mortar, mash the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt, until a paste forms. Add the garlic to the onions. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk the flour into the onion mixture.
- Add a pinch or more of chili flakes.
- Over low heat, add the milk to the flour/onion mixture. Whisk constantly, until smooth.
- Add the cheese by handfuls to the béchamel.
- Stir until smooth.
- Gently reheat over low heat. Stirring constantly.
- Add the pasta and broccoli.
- Lightly stir to combine.
- Season with salt, if needed.