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 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 the chopped pine nuts, minced garlic, lemon zest and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Add the olive oil, more if needed.

Broccoli Pesto

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

Pasta

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

Shredded Cheese

6. Slowly add in the milk. Once the flour, butter and milk have combined, add the shredded 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 the bread crumbs and the remaining shredded cheese.

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.

If you're wondering if I am really stoned... well, I'll never tell.

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