Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Just make this. Pronto.

Ingredients:

  • 12-13 oz box whole wheat elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup flour (I used white whole wheat flour, but I'm sure others would be fine too)
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
  • 8 oz (2 cups) reduced-fat sharp cheddar (Cabot 50%)
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste (I used Lawry's seasoning salt...it's just the best...hands down)
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets
  • Grated parmesan for the top
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs for the top
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions. Cook until the pasta is al dente (slightly undercook for 2 minutes).
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish (I used a 9x11) with cooking spray.
  3. In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add the chopped onion and cook over low heat about for about 2 minutes. Add flour and cook another minute or until the flour is golden and well-combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat the medium-heat until it comes to a boil. Cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with lawry's seasoning salt (or just plain salt) and pepper.
  4. Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat, add the grated cheddar cheese, and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well.
  5. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with grated parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top. 
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil a few more minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden. 
  7. Dive in head first and enjoy every second of this dish. 

{Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.com}