One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
In the time it takes to make boxed macaroni and cheese, you can have a homemade version that’s creamy with lots of sharp Cheddar, studded with broccoli and doesn’t require making a roux. Instead, the sauce is thickened by the pasta’s starch: As the noodles cook in milk, the milk thickens to the consistency of cream and the pasta absorbs the seasonings. Here, that’s garlic powder, but you could also use mustard powder, ground cayenne or grated nutmeg like in traditional mac and cheese. The broccoli pieces end up soft and sweet, but if you want more bite, add them halfway through cooking.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound elbow macaroni
- 1pound broccoli, stem and florets coarsely chopped
- 2 ½cups whole milk
- 2teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½teaspoon garlic powder
- 8ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (about 2 cups)
- Black pepper
Step 1In a large pot or skillet, combine the macaroni, broccoli, milk, salt and garlic powder. Add 3 cups of water, and stir to combine. (The pasta may not be fully submerged. That’s OK!) Bring to an active simmer over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium to gently simmer. Cook, stirring often to ensure even cooking and to keep things from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the pasta is tender, and the liquid resembles heavy cream and coats the noodles, 8 to 12 minutes. If the liquid evaporates so much that you don’t see any between noodles, add 1/2 cup water. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
Step 2Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat!