Baked Mac and Cheese with Broccoli


In college, a friend shared with me her family recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese… it changed my life! It is easy to make, is excellent reheated, and with broccoli thrown in, it goes from delicious to divine!


12 -ounces whole-wheat macaroni, about 3 cups, uncooked

1 large broccoli crown, chopped (about 4 cups) or 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

2 1/2 cups milk, preferably non-fat, divided

1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

Crumb topping
3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see ingredient note*)

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Prepare the noodles:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

When water boils, cook the macaroni 4 minutes less than package instructions.

Add the raw fresh broccoli if using (if using frozen broccoli, it goes in later).


Continue cooking for 2 minutes longer until the pasta is slightly under-cooked (the broccoli should be bright green and crisp tender.) Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Prepare cheese sauce: 

Heat 2 cups milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often until steaming hot.

Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup cold milk, flour, Dijon, 3/4 teaspoon salt and white pepper in a medium bowl until completely smooth.

Whisk the flour mixture into the steaming milk, bring to a simmer whisking often until smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

If using the frozen thawed broccoli, stir it into the cheese sauce.

Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta. Transfer the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Prepare the topping:

Stir together breadcrumbs, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, garlic powder in a small bowl.

Drizzle in olive oil and stir until completely combined.

Sprinkle the crumbs over the pasta and transfer to the oven.

Bake until the pasta is bubbling and the topping is golden -15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393
Total Fat 12 g 1
Cholesterol 32 mg
Sodium 388 mg
Potassium 245 mg
Total Carbohydrate 54 g
Protein 21 g
Vitamin A 17 %
Vitamin C 30 %
Calcium 41 %
Iron 14 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.