Healthy Recipes | Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

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Healthy Recipes | Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Carol Blair
Thursday, 12 September 2019

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The second the pairing hopped into my head there was no stopping it. It had to be done. Bacon broccoli mac and cheese needed to exist on my plate… and in my face!

Bacon broccoli mac and cheese loaded with broccoli and topped with crispy bacon… this cheesy comfort food is ready to rock your face off! My family goes nuts over this easy macaroni and cheese casserole!

For a food blogger, I’m a bit hopeless. No matter how hard I try to be inventive for you guys, I usually wind up making the same few meals over and over again. It varies season to season, but  it’s essentially a lot of the same song and dance. When we buy broccoli, for instance, it’s usually with a set purpose in mind: as a dunker for ginger dressing and hummus, as the star of my soup, and to pimp my pizza.

Loaded with gorgeous green broccoli and topped with crispy bacon, this cheesy comfort food is ready to rock your face off. My family goes bonkers over this bacon broccoli mac and cheese!

A little bit of naughty, a little bit of nice, and a lot of portion control. That’s my approach to food. 😂  So when I decided to make some mac and cheese and put bacon in it, I knew that I had to at least throw some broccoli in there as well. It was a reasonable compromise because bacon and broccoli go really well together and the broccoli adds some much needed texture in this ooey-gooey One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese. Now let’s just see if I can do that portion control part…

Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 12 Minutes
Cook Time: 23 Minutes
Totalk Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4  cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (room temperature or warmed)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp  garlic powder
  • 1/8  tsp black pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired
  • 3-4  slices cooked bacon
  • 5-6 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese (see notes)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets (steamed or blanched)
  • 8 oz dry pasta
  • 1/4 cup  unsalted butter

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Instructions:

  1. First, Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Second, Measure out all your ingredients, chop your broccoli, and grate your cheese.
  3. Next, Boil pasta per package instructions (times will vary a smidge by brand/shape) until al dente. Drain and set aside one done.
  4. While the pasta cooks, start your sauce and broccoli.
  5. Cook broccoli via your favorite method. I'm a big fan of quickly blanching broccoli in boiling hot water until the florets turn bright green and tender.
  6. For the sauce, melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) over medium heat.
  7. Add flour and whisk constantly while the flour cooks off into a roux, approx. 3 minutes. 
  8. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, to taste.
  9. Slowly pour in your room temperature milk, whisking constantly until smooth and fully incorporated. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken  as it rests.
  10. Add pasta and broccoli florets to a 9-inch baking dish.
  11. Sprinkle 5-6 ounces of freshly grated cheese on top of the pasta.
  12. Pour your cream sauce over the noodles and cheese. Use a rubber spatula to fold it all together. Feel free to top with a little extra cheese if you'd like, then top with bacon.
  13. Bake on center rack at 350 F for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Recipe Notes:

  • CRAZY FOR CHEESE? You can add a little extra on top before baking to amp up the cheese-factor even further! I made mine with a mixture of sharp white cheddar and medium cheddar cheese but love adding gouda to my mac and cheese as well. Gouda and cheddar are amatch made in heaven! I highly suggest using a good quality brick or wedge cheese and grating it yourself - the flavor and texture will be spot-on this way!


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