Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 small head broccoli
- 5 ounces cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) package whole wheat macaroni
- 1½ cups nonfat milk
- 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons light cream cheese
- Rinse and chop broccoli.
- Grate cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add broccoli and just enough water to cover half way. Heat in microwave until bright green and tender, about 6–8 minutes.
- Cook pasta following package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside. While pasta is cooking, make cheese sauce.
- In a small pot over medium heat, heat milk. When hot, remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour. Whisk with a fork, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add the warm milk. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, until sauce thickens. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cream cheese, grated cheese, and broccoli. Stir until grated cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
- Add macaroni to cheese sauce. Stir to coat.
- Use any veggies you like. Try using 1½ cups chopped tomatoes, steamed cauliflower, cooked peas, butternut squash, or spinach instead of broccoli.
- For a heartier version, in step 8 add 1 (12-ounce) can tuna, packed in water, drained. Or, add cubed and cooked chicken pieces.
- For extra flavor, add ½ teaspoon dried thyme or any herbs and spices you like. Mix into the sauce with the salt and pepper.
- Use other whole wheat pasta, like penne or shells, instead of macaroni.
- Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
- Top the dish with some breadcrumbs to add some texture to the dish