Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto

As a kid growing up, I loved Mac n Cheese. What kid didn’t? And while I still indulge in boxed Mac n Cheese from time to time, I don’t like it as much as I used to. It’s just so heavily processed, ya know?

But then I made it myself! That changed everything. I discovered how Mac n Cheese was not only wonderful again, but could be this amazing vehicle for things I rarely ate. Or didn’t like!

Seriously, you can sneak almost anything into it! However, I do love broccoli and with it being in season right now, it seemed like a good place to start. Enjoy!

Oh, I want to add that when I photographed this recipe I did not make enough cheese sauce. Oops! Don’t worry, the recipe below has been adjusted and it is much cheesier than shown.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total: 45 minutes Yield: 5 servings
  • 1 pound of fusilli, cooked as instructed
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese, more for topping
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, more for topping
  • 3/4 cup parmesan, more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 broccoli stalk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut off the broccoli florets of 1 broccoli stalk and peel the stalk, cutting the stalk into 1/2″ pieces.

Broccoli

2. Add broccoli to the food processor and finely chop it, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Making Broccoli Pesto

Making Broccoli Pesto 2

3. Lightly fold in 1/2 cup of pine nuts, chopped finely, 1 clove of garlic,minced, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, more if needed.

Broccoli Pesto

4. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil along with 1 table spoon of salt. Add 1 pound of fusilli and cook until al dente, about nine minutes for most pastas.

Pasta

5. Create a roux by warming the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and adding 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk well until all of the flour is incorporated.

Shredded Cheese

6. Slowly add in 2 cups of milk. Once the flour, butter and milk have combined, add 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese .

7. At this point, the sauce should be fairly thick. If you wish for it to be thicker, bring the cheese sauce to a slight boil and then remove it from the heat. If you want to thin it out a bit, add more milk. But do it sloooowly.

Making Macaroni and Cheese

8. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked fusilli with the cheese sauce then transfer it to a baking dish.

9. Place heaping tablespoons of the broccoli pesto throughout the cheesy pasta.

10. Top with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and the remaining shredded cheeses.

Baked Mac and Cheese

11. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until the cheese sauce begins to boil and the topping is golden.

Enjoy!

Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto Full

About Cooking Stoned

Hi, I’m Jerry James Stone and welcome to my food blog.

My recipes are vegetarian, just like me. Some are even vegan. I like to keep things pretty simple, using just a few ingredients. So, you'll be cooking in no time.

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