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Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto

Yields1 ServingPrep Time15 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time45 mins

As a kid growing up, I loved Mac n Cheese. What kid didn't? And I still indulge in boxed Mac n Cheese from time to time. But homemade is way better and makes it rather easy to sneak in fresh veggies, like this homemade raw broccoli pesto.

Baked Mac and Cheese 1

 1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked as instructed
 1 cup shredded Gruyère
 ½ cup shredded Cheddar
 ¾ cup shredded Parmesan
 2 tablespoons butter
 2 tablespoons flour
 2 cups milk
 ¼ cup bread crumbs
 1 stalk of broccoli
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 ½ cup chopped pine nuts
 1 tablespoon lemon zest
 1 minced garlic clove
1

Cut off the broccoli florets of 1 broccoli stalk and peel the stalk, cutting the stalk into 1/2″ pieces.

Broccoli1 2

2

Add broccoli to the food processor and finely chop it, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Making Broccoli Pesto 1

3

Making Broccoli Pesto 2 1

4

Lightly fold in 1/2 cup of pine nuts, chopped finely, 1 clove of garlic,minced, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, more if needed.

Broccoli Pesto 2

5

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil along with 1 table spoon of salt. Add 1 pound of fusilli and cook until al dente, about nine minutes for most pastas. FACT: In 1937, Kraft was the first to sell boxed macaroni and cheese, and it became an instant hit. They sold 9 million boxes that year! You can learn more fun facts about mac and cheese here.

Pasta 1

6

Create a roux by warming the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and adding 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk well until all of the flour is incorporated.

7

Slowly add in 2 cups of milk. Once the flour, butter and milk have combined, add 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese .

Shredded Cheese1 1

8

At this point, the sauce should be fairly thick. If you wish for it to be thicker, bring the cheese sauce to a slight boil and then remove it from the heat. If you want to thin it out a bit, add more milk. But do it sloooowly.

Making Macaroni and Cheese 1

9

In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked fusilli with the cheese sauce then transfer it to a baking dish.

10

Place heaping tablespoons of the broccoli pesto throughout the cheesy pasta.

11

Top with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and the remaining shredded cheeses. Oh, I want to add that when I photographed this recipe I did not make enough cheese sauce. Oops! Don’t worry, the recipe below has been adjusted and it is much cheesier than shown.

Baked Mac n Cheese 1

12

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until the cheese sauce begins to boil and the topping is golden.

Enjoy!

Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto 1

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Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto Full 1

Nutrition Facts

Servings 1