Saturday, November 23, 2013

Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a great comfort food.  It is warm and soothing, especially on a cold night.  One day last week, I looked in the refrigerator and nothing appealed to me.  I remembered this recipe, found my Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook and a quick check of my kitchen revealed I had all the required ingredients.  It was quick to prepare, and so delicious.  I know you will like it too!
Macaroni and cheese with broccoli
1 ½ cups low-fat milk
¼ white onion or a small white onion
2 whole cloves 
1 bunch broccoli cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus a little extra for buttering the baking dish
2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour 
1 ½ cups  shredded aged white cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
1 cup small elbow macaroni
1 cup bread crumbs from 2-3 slices of white bread
Butter a shallow two-quart baking dish.  Position a rack in the upper part of an oven and pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  
Macroni and cheese with broccoli - ingredients
Remove the crusts from the bread.  Cut the bread into small pieces, and put into a blender or food processor to make bread crumbs. Save these bread crumbs for later.
Stick the two cloves into the onion.  In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and the onion with cloves.  Warm to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and set aside to allow the onion to flavor the milk. 
Macaroni and cheese with broccoli - assembling the ingredients
Bring a large pot of water to boil, then cook the florets for 3-4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, move the florets to a colander.  Place under cold running water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and put the florets in the buttered baking dish.
Macaroni and cheese with broccoli-assembling the ingredients
Cook 1 cup of elbow pasta in the same pot of water that you used for cooking the broccoli.  Cook al dente, according to the package instructions.  Drain well, and pour the macaroni onto the top of the broccoli.  Distribute evenly over the broccoli.
Remove the onion from the milk mixture and discard.
Macaroni and cheese with broccoli-assembling the ingredients
In a medium saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter.  Add flour and cook for one minute on low heat.  Do not brown. 
Gradually add milk, and cook on medium low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Then, remove from the heat and set aside.   
Macaroni and cheese with broccoli before baking
Add 1/2 cup of cheese.  Mix until cheese melts and is well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle remaining 2 cups of cheese and fresh bread crumbs. 
Macaroni and Cheese with Braccoli

Bake uncovered until lightly browned and bubbling, about 25 minutes. 

Inspired by a recipe found in Williams-Sonoma's Simple Classics Cookbook.


  1. I've seen the onion/milk bit a few other times. Do you really taste the clove and onion flavor in the final dish? I suppose I'll have to try it myself

  2. I think that clove and onion infused milk will make a little bit more flavorful cheese sauce and the same dish will be more special. Thank you for the interest in my blog.


  3. Oh my goodness,,,Izabella you really the sweetest...Its really a great recipe,,,I never try mac and cheese with broccoli,,,May be It'll increase the taste...I can't wait any more to try it myself at home...Thanks for sharing this great recipe..I love your blog Izabella

    1. Thank you so much for your compliment, and thanks for visiting my blog,

  4. This looks delicious :) I'm often making macaroni and cheese with cauliflower and bacon breadcrumbs (jamie oliver's recipe) but will definitely try this one next time :)

  5. Thanks, I hope you will like this recipe as well :)