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Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Broccoli mac and cheese recipe is an easy and tasty dinner that your family will love!

Lightened up broccoli mac and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

I will be the first to admit that I love me some boxed mac and cheese. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t?!

It’s also one of the only foods that Crosby willingly eats and I’m convinced that kids just pop out knowing that mac and cheese and pizza are the two foods they will eat.

To my credit, he can tear up a green smoothie too, but mac and cheese is most definitely a favorite around here.

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

In the span of the last two weeks we had eaten boxed mac and cheese for 3 meals and my poor husband, bless his heart, was sick of it.

I can’t say no to Annie’s organic mac and cheese, but I found it pretty funny that I had made something so much that my husband who never complains was sick of it.

Time to mix it up!

This recipe is made in less than 30 minutes and so simple to make!

How to make broccoli mac and cheese 

First, grab your frozen broccoli from the freezer and set it on the counter. We are going to let it start to thaw out while the rest of the meal is cooking.

In a dutch oven or large sauce pan, saute up your garlic and onion (<— this adds so much flavor!)

While your garlic and onion are cooking, start your pasta on another burner.

Once the garlic and onion have cooked down, add in the remaining ingredients for the cheese sauce and whisk until you have a nice and thick cheesy sauce.

Once your sauce is done, add in the cooked pasta and the broccoli, and stir until broccoli is hot. Salt and pepper to taste and dinner is served!

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

Pasta + cheese will never not be one of my favorite foods, so I decided to create this broccoli shells and cheese recipe as the healthiest possible way to justify eating mac and cheese for a meal.

The sauce is made with 2% milk and freshly grated cheese, and it’s mixed with a whole bag of frozen broccoli and whole wheat pasta shells.

Lightened up broccoli mac and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

I also added lots fresh garlic and onion because they are LIFE, but if you have a picky eater, you can halve the amounts I used and it will still be good.

 broccoli mac and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

This broccoli mac and cheese turned out incredibly cheesy, creamy, and delicious.

I didn’t feel bad at all after eating it and the broccoli made me feel less guilty for eating pasta for dinner.

Honestly, whole wheat shells are the way to go if you’re a pasta lover.

I’m super sensitive to pasta at times, but whole wheat pasta leaves me not bloated and feeling great.

I love it!

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

The thickness of the sauce kind of reminded me of velveeta, but it tastes WAY fresher.

One note – be sure to buy blocks of sharp cheddar and grate it yourself.

The flavor difference is huge and totally worth those extra few minutes spent grating!

If you love broccoli and cheese, be sure to make this broccoli cheese soup recipe. 

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

More pasta recipes to try:

Click below to pin this Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipe:

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

Yield: 6 servings

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Lightened up broccoli shells and cheese with sharp cheddar cheese and whole wheat pasta. The healthiest way to justify eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Kids will love this one! #broccolishellsandcheese #macandcheese #healthy #dinner #vegetarian #meatless #pasta #wholewheat

Broccoli mac and cheese recipe - lightened up comfort food for the whole family!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz whole wheat pasta shells
  • 10 oz frozen broccoli
  • 4 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Remove broccoli from freezer and let thaw while you start cooking
  2. In a dutch oven or large sauce pan, add diced garlic and onion (see notes) and olive oil
  3. Sauté on medium high heat for 10 - 12 minutes, or until onion and garlic soften and onion is translucent
  4. While garlic and onion is cooking, cook the whole wheat shells to al dente, according to package instructions
  5. Once onion and garlic cook down, add in milk, cheese, cornstarch, and paprika
  6. Whisk/stir for 8 - 10 minutes, until sauce is nice and thick
  7. Add cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce and stir until heated through 
  8. Salt and pepper to taste (I used 3 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper but did NOT salt my pasta water.) Add to taste to your liking!

Notes

I love the added flavor of garlic and onion in this recipe, but if you are making it for kids that don't like it, feel free to cut the amounts in half. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 652Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 1559mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 35g

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CHElSea

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

I added only two teaspoons of salt and even that was way too much. I would definitely only do one next time. Otherwise it's a good recipe!

J

Tuesday 29th of May 2018

really good!

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