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Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Cooking Method
Cuisine
Difficulty Intermediate
Time
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 60 min Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 8
Best Season Suitable throughout the year
Ingredients
  • 3/4 pounds cavatappi pasta (You may purchase a 1lb box of pasta but that is more than what is needed for this recipe. Cook a little over half of the box.)
  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (for the roux)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter (for the cracker crust and baking pan)
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 8 ounces block of tillamook sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 pounds beemster classic gouda cheese wedge
  • 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cups crumbled whole wheat ritz crackers
Instructions
  1. Grate the cheddar and gouda cheese and combine them together in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Set your stove top to medium high heat and cook your cavatappi pasta per the package instructions. Set the pasta aside when it is done. 

  3. Clean and prep your broccoli. Using a cutting board, remove the broccoli florets by carefully making cuts in the center to separate the broccoli florets from the stem.

  4. If you have large broccoli florets, carefully cut them down the center so that all of the broccoli florets are a similar size. If you like smaller broccoli florets, slice them closer to the base.

  5. Set your stove top to medium-high heat. Add water to a small or medium size pot and bring it a boil. Add the broccoli and allow it to cook for less than a minute. 

  6. Turn off the heat and remove the broccoli from the pot and set aside.

  7. Set your stove top to medium high heat and add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix the butter with the flour.

  8. Add the milk and heavy cream to the pan. Mix all of the ingredients together with a whisk.

  9. Decrease the heat to medium and allow the roux to thicken. Stir the roux with the whisk to make sure that it is not sticking to the pan. Increase the heat slightly if needed.

  10. Decrease the heat to low. Add the cheese one cup at a time to the roux and mix using the whisk. Reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for later.

  11. Add the seasonings and continue to stir with the whisk. Increase heat slightly to continue to thicken the cheese. Be sure not to burn it. Add additional seasoning to taste if needed.

  12. Add the pasta to the large pan and mix with the cheese. Add the broccoli and carefully mix with the pasta and cheese. 

  13. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2-3 tablespoons of unsalted butter on your stove or in the microwave. Lightly grease a large baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. 

  14. Add half of the broccoli mac and cheese to the baking dish. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top of it. Add the remaining half of the broccoli mac and cheese and sprinkle a layer of cheese on top of it. 

  15. Sprinkle the crumbled wheat ritz crackers on top of the broccoli mac and cheese and drizzle the remaining melted butter on top of it. Carefully place the broccoli mac and cheese in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

  16. Remove the broccoli mac and cheese from the oven. Allow the broccoli mac and cheese to cool slightly, then serve!