Broccoli Bacon Macaroni and Cheese – Homemade mac ‘n cheese loaded with broccoli, a sprinkle of bacon, and lots of cheesy flavor.
Also known as the meal that will get adults AND picky kids to the table. 🙋
Hi, guys! Welcome to my internet corner – I’m so happy to see you’re here! I’d like to make your stay that much more enjoyable by inviting you to a big pot of mac ‘n cheese that involves bacon + broccoli.
I’d also like to share with you that it’s FriYAY!! and I woke up an entire hour before my alarm clock went off, AND my kitchen sink was empty. Sign of a good day ahead? I think so! If there’s anything worse than a kitchen sink filled with dishes first thing in the morning, let me know. I did that once last week because I was just too tired to do the dishes the night before, but oh my gah did I regret it the next day. I did, however, enjoy the extra 15 minutes of trash TV the night before… 😏
Now that I’ve told you all about my life, and just in case you were looking to consume an obscene amount of broccoli bacon macaroni and cheese… just in case… here we ARE!
Can I also make my case as to why homemade macaroni and cheese is a gazillion times better?
First and foremost, you know exactly what you’re putting in it. Secondly, you can control the amount of sodium you’re about to eat up – most brands of mac ‘n cheese contain around 900 to 1000 mg per serving! Which is like in 1 cup! Additionally, you can play around with different cheeses – dairy free cheese works really well. You’re also free to use skim milk, whole milk, dairy free milk, all milk!
I’m also going to suggest you reach for uncured bacon, which is an easier way of saying that this bacon is a tad bit better because synthetic nitrates or nitrites are not present.
Aaaaand don’t forget the broccoli. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and dietary fiber.
Case made? I HOPE! 😀
- Now, please go place some whole grain elbow macaroni pasta in boiling water and grab a big ol’ saucepan so we can get on this bacon macaroni and cheese deliciousness.
- While the pasta is doing its thing, you’re going to sautee some onions and garlic in bacon fat. 🙂 If using turkey bacon, please add a pat or two of butter to the pan.
- Our next step involves flour, pasta water, and milk + a whole lot of whisking.
- Then comes the good part – cheeeeese! Add it to the liquid, melt it, throw in the prepared pasta and broccoli, keep stirring, top with bacon, stir, taste-test, serve.
Doesn’t that ⬆ ⬆scream dinner?? Sure does to me!
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TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- 8 ounces whole grain elbow macaroni
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 4 slices uncured bacon
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 cup pasta water
- 1 cup skim milk or dairy-free milk
- 3/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon chili powder , or to taste
- fresh ground pepper , to taste
Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to the directions on the package, adding the broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.
In the meantime, cook the bacon in a large saucepan to a desired crispness; using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Add the diced onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes; stir in garlic and continue to cook and stir for 1 more minute.
Whisk in the flour and mustard; cook for 2 minutes whisking constantly.
Pour pasta water and milk into the pan and continue to whisk until mixture is completely smooth and thickened; about 4 minutes.
Add the cheeses and continue to cook, whisking, until creamy; about 2 more minutes.
Season with chili powder and pepper.
Stir in the pasta and broccoli.
Remove from heat and taste for seasonings; adjust accordingly.