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Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

My daughter had work done on her braces today after school which means she comes home with a tender and very sore mouth. Soft food for dinner is a must so tonight I made one of her favorite comfort foods – macaroni and cheese. I added some broccoli and bacon bits to make it a little heartier and it turned out creamy and delicious. We all loved it, especially my daughter, who asked for the leftovers for her lunch tomorrow. I loved that this recipe was cooked and on the table within 30 minutes.

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Chop into bits.

Cook the elbow macaroni to al dente – don’t overcook (it will continue to cook in the cheese sauce), per package instructions. One minute before the timer goes off for the pasta, throw the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta water; cook for 1 minute. Drain the pasta and broccoli well.

While the macaroni cooks, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan; stir in the flour until well combined and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Very slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly, until well combined; cook and stir until bubbly.

Reduce heat to low and add the cheddar cheese, American cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese; stir until melted. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add the cooked & drained noodles and broccoli florets to the sauce. Toss to coat evenly then turn the stove off and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir, taste & re-season, if needed. Sprinkle the bacon bits on top. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main
Servings: 6
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking

Ingredients

  • 5 slices of bacon cooked, drained, and chopped into bits
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni cooked in salty water, per instructions, drain
  • 1 heaping cup of broccoli florets
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar shredded
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp Parmesan grated
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.
  • Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Chop into bits.
  • Cook the elbow macaroni to al dente - don't overcook (it will continue to cook in the cheese sauce), per package instructions.
  • One minute before the timer goes off for the pasta, throw the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta water; cook for 1 minute.
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli well.
  • While the macaroni cooks, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan; stir in the flour until well combined and cook for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
  • Very slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly, until well combined; cook and stir until bubbly.
  • Reduce heat to low and add the cheddar cheese, American cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese; stir until melted. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add the cooked & drained noodles and broccoli florets to the sauce. Toss to coat evenly then turn the stove off and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir, taste & re-season, if needed. Sprinkle the bacon bits on top. Serve immediately. Enjoy.
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7 Comments

  1. Mmm the most perfect comfort food! I remember getting my braces tightened as a kid and this is definitely the best kind of food for after- but also delicious any time at all!

  2. By adding broccoli, I believe you have found a way to turn pasta, cheese and bacon into health food 🙂

  3. I’m with Larry – this looks like health food to me. What a great twist on a classic comfort food!

  4. I think Trevor will love this as it combines three of his favorite foods. I just showed it to Alexis and she wants to make it. Beautiful photography, Pam.

  5. you’ve effectively balanced the healthy and the not-so-healthy–bravo! 🙂