Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Ok ok ok..this is technically not “mac” (macaroni) and cheese. It’s RAD (radiatore) and cheese. And it’s RAD AF.broccoli cheddar Mac n cheese

You can use any sturdy noodle here…I chose radiatore because, well,  I found it at a grocery store and thought it was 1) really cool and 2) would hold a creamy cheese sauce well in its little crevices. There’s truly no important reason why I chose this pasta aside from those two factors. I think macaroni, rigatoni mezze, rigatoni, lumache, pumpkin shaped pasta or shells would also go well here.

broccoli cheddar Mac n cheesebroccoli cheddar Mac n cheese

This recipe is really straight forward. I like to let the cheese shine and I don’t really season with anything other than salt and pepper. However, if you love to serve up heavily seasoned mac n cheese (power to you) you can 100% add garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, mustard powder and any other seasonings that you like.

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5 from 2 Reviews

Ingredients

Adjust Servings
4cups broccoli florets
2tbsp diamond kosher salt
4tbsp unsalted butter
1cup diced white onion
2cloves garlic
4tbsp all-purpose flour
4cups whole milk
2oz. room temperature softened cream cheese
5cups shredded sharp cheddar
1/2cup bread crumbs
1lb. pasta of your choice
Freshly cracked black pepper
Equipment
Stock pot
Oven safe 4.5-5 qt saute pan or skillet

Directions

1.

Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp of kosher salt. Blanch the broccoli by submerging the florets into the boiled water for 1 minute. Remove the broccoli and place the florets into an ice bath or under running cold water. Set the broccoli aside. Keep the pot of water on the stove and reduce to a simmer.

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2.

Add the unsalted butter to a large oven safe sauté pan. Melt over medium heat. Add the onion. Season with a generous pinch of salt and cook until tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

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3.

Bring the pot of water (from the blanching) to a boil.

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4.

As that water is coming to a boil, return to your sauce. Add the flour and whisk until it's absorbed by the butter (this is your roux.) Keep whisking until it's a light golden color, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking, until it thickens. Whisk in the cream cheese and 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Once the cheese is melted, taste the cheese sauce to ensure the seasoning is on point. If it's not, add salt, pepper or any other seasonings accordingly. Reduce the heat to simmer.

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5.

Return to the pot of boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute before al dente.

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6.

Preheat the broiler on high.

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7.

Transfer the pasta to the cheese sauce. Mix until combined. Transfer the broccoli to the pasta and cheese sauce mixture, then stir it in until evenly incorporated. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. Finish it off with some cracks of black pepper, if preferred. Broil on high until the cheese on top is golden brown, about 1-3 minutes. Stand close by and keep an eye on it to ensure nothing burns!

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8.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately!

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Notes

If the sauce seems too thick, add some pasta water or more milk to thin it out! I would do 1 tbsp at a time so you don't water it down too much.

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