Now the ultimate comfort food side can be your main entrée. Our Meatless Monday recipe features Skinnytaste’s healthier spin on traditional mac and cheese. Each satisfying portion is loaded with broccoli florets, whole-wheat pasta and reduced-fat cheddar cheese. You can savor the taste and still get your veggies in to boot!
Skinny Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese
- 12 oz (approx. 1 box) whole wheat fusilli pasta
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
- 2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar
- 12 oz fresh broccoli florets (I used pre-cut bag)
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- cooking spray
- Optional additions: salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper (optional).
Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.
Serves: 8 | Serving Size: 1 cup
Per serving: Calories: 322; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 28mg; Sodium: 381mg; Total Carbohydrate: 43g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 20g
Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 289mg; Vitamin A: 7%; Vitamin C: 2%; Calcium: 34%; Iron: 8%
Gina Homolka is the founder of Skinnytaste.com, the award-winning blog that’s been featured on Fitness, Better Homes and Gardens, Glamour.com, and FineCooking.com, among other media outlets. She lives on Long Island with her husband and their two children. Look for Gina’s new cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor on sale September 30, 2014.
Photo courtesy of Penny De Los Santos. Original recipe published in The Skinnytaste Cookbook.