Creamy cheesy Broccoli Mac and Cheese turned extra special today as it was prepared by my 6 years old boy. Loaded with big chunks of broccoli, penne pasta and lots of cheese tossed in a creamy sauce and then baked in a casserole for that perfect crispy cheesy crust.
WATCH THE VIDEO
Like million other kids, mac and cheese is my little one’s favorite food and I prepare it quite often. Sometimes we add vegetables and sometimes I leave it simple on stove top. We do use traditional elbow pasta for mac and cheese but if you ask my little one, he doesn’t mind any pasta as long as it has cheese and it’s creamy.
Ingredients for Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Penne pasta (choose whatever variety you have at home)
- Frozen or fresh broccoli
- Cheese ( I used cheddar, but you can definitely choose your fav or make it assorted)
For flavor I used chicken bouillon powder and dried oregano in the creamy sauce
You can surely make it in stove top but I and my husband both prefers Baked Mac and Cheese, and hence had to bake it.
NOTE: I missed adding some breadcrumbs on top. Completely forgot! But with any type of baked pasta, I always sprinkle breadcrumbs along with cheese. It creates a gorgeous looking crust and the breadcrumbs adds a crumbly texture too.
How to make Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Step One: Make the sauce! It’s a simple white sauce that I flavored with oregano and chicken bullion powder.
Step Two: Boil the pasta and the broccoli. Then toss it with the sauce.
You can enjoy it right away
Step Three: Put everything in an oven proof caserole and bake it at 350 F for 35 minutes
Avyan has been helping me in the kitchen ever since he started to walk and if you have followed my YouTube Channel or my Insta stories, you would have had some glimpses. I have kept him away from cooking and restricted mostly to baking. But these days he shows interest in stirring, sautéing and getting closer to the stove. It does scare me a little but I also want to encourage him.
So, when he decided to prepare the Baked Broccoli Mac and Cheese all by himself, I could be prouder. Of course, I had to make a video, which I think pumped him more to show off his skills.
Dishes such as these are a great way to involve kids in cooking. I am sure this Summer Vacation being mostly indoor, I will be sharing a few more such dishes that you can cook with kids.
Here are few more pasta dishes to try:
Baked Pasta with Chicken Bolognese
5 Ingredients Asparagus Pasta
Rigatoni Broccoli Casserole
Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Butter plus extra to grease the pan - 2 tablespoons
- All-purpose flour -1 and ½ tablespoons
- Chicken bouillon powder - 1 tablespoon
- Milk - 1 and ¼ cup
- Dried oregano - 1 tablespoon
- Cheddar cheese (or your choice of cheese - 2 cups)
- Penne pasta - 2 cups
- Frozen/fresh broccoli - 1 and ½ cups
- Salt - 1 tablespoon
- Parmesan cheese to grate at the end while serving (optional)
- In a skillet, melt the butter and then stir around the flour to cook the flour for couple minutes. Then drop the chicken bouillon powder and stir around to mix it.
- Pour the milk and mix it around to incorporate everything into a smooth texture without any lump. Add the dried oregano and stir the milk for 2 minutes. The milk will thicken up. I didn’t use any salt in the sauce as the chicken bouillon had salt in it.
- Add 1 cup cheese and stir around to form the creamy sauce. Keep the sauce aside to be used later.
- In a big pot boil enough water to cook the pasta. Add 1 tablespoon salt and once the water is boiling drop the pasta. Stir and let it cook for 5 minutes. Then drop the broccoli florets and stir around. Let it cook for 3 more minutes.
- Drain the pasta and the broccoli and add it to the sauce. Stir around to mix everything.
- Grease an oven proof casserole with butter and drop the pasta in creamy sauce in the casserole adding the leftover cheese in between and finally adding a good layer of cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. Once it’s cooled a little, grate some parmesan cheese on top and enjoy the pasta while still warm.