Creamy, cheesy broccoli baked mac and cheese that keeps weeknights skinny and scrumptious! Both kids and grown-up kids will gobble up this gooey side dish!
I may not be a mama just yet, but I do know how stubborn little ones can be about getting their veggies! After all, I was one of them. Sure, I’d force down some kind of green for dinner every night – and sometimes, it’s still a struggle! But I’d always be wishing it was an extra scoop of mashed potatoes or a fluffy piece of garlic bread instead. When that wish didn’t come true, though, it was usually broccoli. And, on those once-in-a-while weeknights, broccoli with a creamy homemade cheese sauce!
If there was a way to make the classic cheesy broccoli side even more appealing to both adults and kids, THIS is it. Just boil your pasta and broccoli all in the same pot, make a quick cheese sauce, toss it all into a casserole dish, and bake until bubbly. A quick broil gives a nice golden crust that gives way to molten, gooey mac. It’s pretty much heaven!
This easy broccoli mac ‘n cheese is perfect alongside your favorite comfort foods, and makes a simple side to pair with a grocery store rotisserie chicken – that’s what we did last night! And it was amazing.
Just keepin’ it real, folks.
Compared to other cream-heavy macaroni and cheeses, this one clocks in at just over 300 calories per serving. Not bad for a big scoopful! You can also try my butter-free roasted vegetable mac ‘n cheese. Chock full of colorful veggies and cheddar cheese, with a little kick that keeps it kid-friendly. Another major favorite in this house!
I know you’ll love this mouthwatering broccoli macaroni and cheese just as much as we did. Next time, I think I’ll add some cooked, chopped up ham or chicken to make it a full meal!
Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 12 oz. whole wheat pasta, elbows, rotini, shells, etc.
- 12 oz. fresh or frozen broccoli florets
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup freshly minced onion
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. 2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and broccoli together; cook according to pasta’s package directions for al dente.
- In a large skillet set to medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook another minute. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook sauce about 5 minutes, or until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once sauce has thickened, remove from heat. Add cheddar, stirring until well blended. Add pasta and broccoli; mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated parmesan and breadcrumbs. Lightly coat top with cooking spray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for 2-4 minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.
This looks wondrful! I haven’t had a proper “gratin” (as they say where I’m from) in aaaaages!
Just polished off the last bit I had of broccoli earlier today though, now I better top up so I can go and make this! :D x
Oh my, this looks like such perfect comfort food! I love that crispy broiled top and all the broccoli in here! My kid self would definitely have eaten this – my sister and I were so so picky haha And my adult self would absolutely eat a big plate!
LOVE this so much. I can’t wait to try it!! Pinned!
Skinny mac and cheese? Sign me up please! Pinned!
This sounds like perfect comfort food! Love the crispy top!
One kid doesn’t like mac and cheese (seriously? what?) and one doesn’t like broccoli. That means that when I make this, I only have to share with my husband!
This is going on my permanent rotation…yummy!
This mac and cheese looks killer!!
Oh delicious! This is perfect comfort food with some healthy thrown in.
Mmm great way to sneak in some broccoli ;)
I have to say, broccoli (in most forms) remains one of my least favourite veggies but this looks like a great way to tackle it head on!
Genius to add broccoli into mac and cheese, so delicious!
Um yes please! Lucy actually ADORES broccoli. It is the only food she’ll eat. I might need to hide some pasta in some broccoli. Lol. This looks so good Georgia. Thank you for sharing it!
Macaroni with cheese is my favorite dish. I like that you have added broccoli into it because I guess that it makes the dish more fresh and tasty. I also like that there is enough sauce in them and they are not dried.
Oooh! It’s so cheesy looking! I still don’t like my veggies and so I love things like this. Even covered in cheese, it’s still a struggle to get them down but at least it’s a little easier. :)
Love that you made this mac’ cheese “skinny” Georgia. I didn’t think those two went together – skinny and mac’ cheese. Was I ever wrong! This looks wonderful.
I’m a broccoli lover and I love this skinny recipe!
Adding cheese to broccoli is definitely a great way to get kids to happily eat it. I used to shred some cheddar and serve it alongside steamed broccoli and we called it “trees with cheese”. They all love broccoli as adults so I think it worked! They would have (and still would) gobble this all right down. Looks totally yummy, Georgia.
OMG i just made stove top mac and cheese with broccoli last week. I love mac and cheese and every time I make it I try to sneak some veggies with it. I love how creamy yours looks. Next time I will be adding more cheese to mine :-)
I’ve been wanting to make mac and cheese this winter, but we’re trying to maintain some discipline and lose those holiday pounds we gained. I’m so glad to see a lighter version of mac and cheese and it looks fantastic. Big broccoli fan here so that’s icing on the cake. Great post, Georgia!
There are not enough words to describe how much I love this!
Skinny mac & cheese! You are my hero. I have such a weakness for cheesy pasta bakes, but obviously the calories are a wee bit of a problem!
Love that this is skinny and broccoli is my favorite! Perfect family meal!
Healthy comforting perfection. :)
You are killing me with this! I absolutely love being able to sneak in some veggies in pure comfort food.
“Skinny” and “Mac & Cheese” are two (well, three, technically speaking haha) words that go perfect together. This looks to die for, Georgia! My little brothers never eat their veggies, but I’m sure they’d love this. I need to try it! ;–)
Broccoli is one of my favorite dishes – added to mac and cheese, I would like it even better!
Ohmahgosh! I don’t know I missed commenting on this post, Georgia! (Forgive me?) I remember seeing it, but then must have gotten distracted and lost the open tab. Stopped by to see if you posted a Friday post. LOVE this recipe and cannot wait to make. Pinning (of course)! Have a lovely weekend, my friend! xo
easy peasy and yummy, I might need this tonight.
Thanks for posting this recipe. Made this tonight, in the oven now, so far pretty tasty! However, I would wait to put the broccoli into the boiling water for a few minutes after the pasta. It seemed like it was cook decently, but by the time the whole thing was stirred together I had broccoli paste instead of florets! Oh well, all the nutrients are still in there. Lesson learned.
I love your all recipes.. but one thing is that in this recipe I see you don’t use any salt. do you think it will test better without salt?
I think if I left that dish alone with my husband… it would be all gone. :) It looks creamy and delicious… not like your sacrificing any taste or comfort even with the skinny ingredients thrown in. :) Gorgeous!
The salty cheeses and chicken broth make salt not a necessity, but you can add it if you’d like!
Loving this lightened up mac and cheese w/ veggies – great way to get all that nutrition in one bowl!
Looks great-would it work if I cut it in half?
Yes, it definitely would work halved! You can also make the full portion and freeze half for later. It freezes very well!
Made this tonight but didn’t quite do “skinny”. I used whole milk, sharp cheddar & added chicken. Topped it with crushed french fried onions. It was a hit! I doubled it to freeze some. Was worried about the cheese sauce since I’ve never made it but this was so easy. Thank you!