Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac-and-cheese nearly as fast as the boxed variety, but your family will be able to pronounce every ingredient. If they aren't broccoli fans, substitute a frozen vegetable of your choice. Source: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2006

EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Ingredients

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 4 minutes. Add frozen broccoli and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.

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  • Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups milk in another large pot over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the simmering milk; return to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in Cheddar, Parmesan and mustard until the cheese is melted.

  • Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until heated through, about 1 minute.

Nutrition Facts

412 calories; 12.9 g total fat; 7.3 g saturated fat; 37 mg cholesterol; 640 mg sodium. 236 mg potassium; 55.7 g carbohydrates; 6.7 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 21.8 g protein; 1245 IU vitamin a iu; 41 mg vitamin c; 56 mcg folate; 414 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 63 mg magnesium;

Reviews (61)

Read More Reviews
61 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 47
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2017
Easy to make and very delicious. I like to use whole wheat shells and fresh broccoli. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/09/2013
Almost there Replace Dijon Mustard with Smoked Paprika and be amazed. Pros: Everything but mustard Cons: The mustard Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/03/2013
We loved it we added mushrooms to it and it turned out great! Pros: Easy Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
03/24/2013
I subbed light coconut milk for the cow's milk used almond cheddar and pepper jack cheese rice rotini noodles. i made the cheese sauce base like i would have a normal mac-n-cheese recipe but used coconut oil for frying the fresh garlic and onion i minced. added the coconut milk then the cheese and seasonings. poured it over the pasta and fresh broccoli. pretty fantastic! Pros: great starter recipe Read More
Rating: 2 stars
11/26/2012
Quick and healthy This is a good-tasting quick and healthy recipe for macaroni and cheese that actually has that cheesy taste we crave in mac & cheese. It's incredibly simple to prepare and is just down-good comfort food. I did modify it somewhat using fresh broccoli that I blanched and fresh garlic that I added to the sauce. I would not serve my version to company because of the lack of fat: I used nonfat milk and lowfat cheddar. Pros: Have most ingredients on hand great for last minute meal Cons: Not for company Read More
Rating: 4 stars
09/29/2012
Kids loved it I used fresh garlic pressed in the sauce. Worked very well. Also used fresh broccoli. Added some extra cheese to sauce as well. Anyway both the kids and I really liked this. I thought it would be too strong a flavor as I like garlic and mustard flavours an made it to suit me. But we all loved it. Read More
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Rating: 2 stars
09/23/2012
Modify with plenty of spice This recipe needed extra cheese plus Worcestershire sauce horseradish cumin and finally tiger sauce added after seving to overcome the flavor neutralizing cream sauce. A lot of extra work to cook adjust retaste etc. Recommend fresh steamed broccoli for its texture and flavor plus more spices to add depth and to boost the cheese flavor. Pros: Easy to cook inexpensive nutritious Cons: Bland; frozen broccoli turns mushy Read More
Rating: 4 stars
07/19/2012
Great Mac & Cheese! My family loved it:) So yummy! I will be making this again. Pros: Easy to make tasty easy to substitute ingredients healthy ingredients were easy to come by Read More
Rating: 4 stars
06/12/2012
Quick and easy. I used Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar (described as tasting like a premium aged cheddar with hints of parmesan) and it came out great. Pros: Easy tastes great Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/30/2012
quick and tasty I didn't have dijon mustard so I used spicy brown instead. It was almost there with flavor but I added some Adobo to it--and it turned out just great:) Pros: quick easy to make Cons: could use a bit more flavor Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/25/2012
yummy I substituted the Parmesian for taco blend cheese because i dont tend to buy parmesian other then the grated kind. It was great. Lots of flavor and very creamy Pros: very easy lots of things you can substitute Cons: parmesian is expensive Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/06/2012
great flavor I thought this recipe was really great. It was really filling and the cheese sauce was the perfect consistency and just had this amazing flavor I didn't expect. I used a broccoli and cauliflower mix that I had in the freezer and it turned out great. Pros: filling tasty Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/26/2012
i quite liked this...i substituted the parmesan for gruyere and added more salt and some chili powder for a kick. really nice and creamy. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
01/02/2012
not much flavor I was looking forward to this dish but I was disappointed. It did not have much flavor let alone a mac & cheese taste. Doubling up on the cheddar cheese might make it taste better but then there goes the healthy eating. My search for a tasty low fat mac & cheese continues... Pros: few ingredients needed Cons: not much flavor Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Soooo good! I added a little bit of grilled chicken and it was amazing!:) Alix S.F. CA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
If you use arrowroot powder (there's a substitute online for arrowroot to flour) and add the arrowroot powder when cooling -- do NOT put back on and simmer as you would with the flour -- arrowroot will thicken it better than the flour and is virtually tasteless. LOVE this! Leah Flint MI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is now one of our all time faves. I split the 3/4 cup cheese by doing 1/2 low fat cabot cheese and 1/2 "seriously sharp" cabot cheese and I used skim milk to lower the fat content further. I also used fresh brocolli not frozen. I added a dash of mustard powder. I followed some suggestions below on putting the flour in a dry skillet and toasting it before adding it to the mixture. I did not have any "Floury" taste at all. Anonymous si ny Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
i made this a little more adult: skipped the broccoli seared some oyster mushrooms and red onion added a little red wine and chicken broth and chard and cooked all til tender then stirred it into the sauce along with the cooked pasta. yum! Anonymous vt Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Made this for my kid on Tuesday. She whined first because it wasn't yellow. Then it was too 'broccoli-y'. Now she just says it tastes weird bad weird. Seems like everyone else's kid likes this recipe I don't know what's wrong with mine. I can't find any other mac and cheese recipes this healthy! Do you think she'd like it better if I left out some of the seasonings that she's not used to maybe the garlic pepper mustard? Katie Columbus OH Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this tonight for my 3 year old son to try a healthier mac and cheese. I did not have sharp cheddar and used a 3 cheese blend instead which I think made it a little bland. I also noticed the floury taste and agree that the flour needs to be "cooked out" as when making a traditional cheese sauce. I will try the cornstarch suggestion next time but overall I thought it was good. Nicole Bronx NY Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this for my aunt with a few changes. Instead of broccoli I used 4 slices of thick bacon I did 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard and I used 1% milk. For a side we had raw snow peas. It was AWESOME! Cal Highland Park IL Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Whenever a recipe calls for flour as a thickener I always substitute it with cornstarch. I only use Rumford Cornstarch because it's made with non-genetically modified corn (non-GMO). You will never get a "floury" taste with cornstarch! Bon Appetit! Mia Mia D MA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I will admit this does not taste like the mac & cheese your mom used to make but I love the little kick the dijon adds. It's a great comfort food without the nasty (read: waist-expanding) side effects. Because of the flour you don't get the same ooey-gooey texture that you would from the traditional cheese mixture but I didn't notice any off flavors in the numerous times my husband and I have made this. It's a staple on our table during the colder months! Melissa Warren MI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This made for a great lunch the next day. I added 1/2 a chicken breast and some cayenne pepper for a quick meal the next day. As far as the flour situation goes- make sure when you mix with with the milk you really let it combine. Also cooking it longer (I know you said you've tried) should take care of it. Let the sauce thicken to a gravy-like consistency and you should be fine if not- I'm stumped. Lizz Columbus OH Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This turned out really well! I used fresh broccoli about a head and added it about three or four minutes before the pasta was done. For the sauce I toasted the flour in the pot over medium heat for about 4 or 5 minutes stirring constantly before whisking in the milk. I didn't think it tasted to flour-y at all using this method. Also I used w.w. rotini instead of elbows and added about 4 ounces of chopped cooked chicken breast at the end. Yum! A hit with the fam and the serving size was generous. Lisa Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Meh Caitlin Cairns QL Meh Caitlin Cairns QL Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
My kids didn't like this. I agreed. There was a weird flavor. Don't know if it was the Dijon or what but I won't make this again. Sorry. Holly Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I'm a huge mac & cheese fan who grew up eating my mom's homemade (read: full-fat) version. I pretty much stopped eating mac & cheese once I got older and realized how bad it was for me but this recipe has given me hope! Although I agree with others that it has a noticeable "flour-y" taste (even after I reduced to 2 1/2 tbsp) it still satisfied my craving. The flour-y taste was actually less pronounced when re-heated the day after. I also added some diced ham leftover from Easter. Next time I'll try cornflour as someone suggested. Overall though this is an excellent compromise for mac & cheese fans who are trying to eat healthy! The best part is how quick & easy it is to prepare. Jen Baltimore MD Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made it with brown rice pasta and it was fabulous!! Diane Lyndhurst NJ Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This was so easy and so delicious. I've made it several times. Piedmont SD Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I love this recipe. My wife has celiac disease and we subsitute with rice pasta and quinoa flour and it is great! Anonymous Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This comment is for the person who could not get rid of the taste of flour. You need to cook the sauce longer. In a traditional white sauce you cook butter and flour togeather for a few min. then add the liquid. This recipe is healthier but the flour needs to cook longer to get rid of the "raw" flour taste. Anonymous monte ga Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
To the cook in San Diego - I use cornflour instead of regular flour and I don't have a floury taste - hope that helps. Anonymous Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This tastes good is easy to make and my four year old loved it even with the whole wheat pasta and the broccoli. In fact we've now made the switch to whole wheat pasta in almost everything since making this - you really can't taste the difference. My only complaint is that no matter what I do (add less flour cook a little longer stir more etc) the sauce still has a distinctive "flour-y" taste. Can anybody help? Suzanne San Diego CA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Very easy and very tasty. The kids (who love boxed mac & cheese) declared it better than boxed and the adults liked it too! Lori Barkhamsted CT Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I have two pickey eaters 3 & 1 and they both loved it. I didn't know my one year old could eat that much. Thank you!!! Danyl Benton Harbor MI Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
It was quick and easy- a new favorite! Grilled chicken was a nice addition. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I followed the directions exactly (unusual for me) and it was terrible! It tasted like glue even after I added the rest of the sharp cheese in the bag. I will not make this one again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I used sharp but not extra sharp and I think that would have improved the taste. I used romano instead of parm which lowered the salt content. Hubby thinks its too bland but an extra couple dashes of salt and pepper and I think it was good. Yes a little bland but not bad. I'll use the sharpest cheese I can find next time. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I did the recipe exactly as follows but found it to be rather bland when all was said and done. I don't know if maybe the recipe called for too much pasta and not enough cheese sauce but it felt like I was just eating pasta broccoli and a hint of cheese. I had to add another 3/4 c. of milk just to make the sauce wet instead of thick and dry and after mixing it in with the pasta and broccoli I ended up needing to add another small handful of parmesan 1/2 c. cheddar 1/4 tsp. garlic and some more pepper. Even then I didn't like it enough to bother making it again it just made it edible for tonight. All in all more than slightly disappointing. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Love this recipe! We usually have it weekly. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Yum my whole family loved this. It was easy and I thought it was perfect the way it was. And I loved that it didn't need to be baked. I will be making this again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I love this food it is good for you Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
It was really good. I'm a college student who doesn't have time to cook and this was quick easy and I had all of the ingredients already. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I liked it and it was easy to make. I was a little bland but a pinch of salt and pepper did the trick:-) We have added this to our permanent recipe book. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Awesome recipe! My 3-1/2 year old who usually won't touch mac and cheese ate all of it and my 11 month old loved it too. Even my husband (the pickiest in the group) ate the broccoli. My sauce didn't taste flour-y at all. So delicious. Is it still healthy if you eat double the serving? Oops:) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I would cut a tbsp of flour out OR make a simple roux instead. Because the finished product had a pronounced floury taste- otherwise- pretty yum! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I thought it came out really good. My two year old agreed and had two servings of it. Obviously not as good as traditional mac & cheese but pretty great for being a healthy version. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Love this recipe and so does my family. As the dad there aren't a whole lot of things I can "throw together" that really work but this recipe is always a crowd pleaser and simple enough for me to do!:) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I thought it was a really delicious recipe! I would put more cheddar cheese in and maybe a little less garlic but otherwise it was really yummy and a great way to eat more broccoli! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I think the ingredients are perfect! I make this every week. The key to avoiding a flour-y taste is to whisk the sauce vigorously and constantly. I use Lifetime fat-free cheddar cheese for lower fat and fresh chopped broccoli (microwaved and mixed in at the last minute rather than boiling it since I dislike boiled vegetables). I like this better than my full fat baked mac and cheese recipe especially since it is on the table after just 30 min of effort. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is by far our favorite mac&cheese recipe - although we eat the broccoli on the side. The way to get a lump-free non-floury sauce is to shake the milk and flour together vigorously in a jar or tightly covered container before adding and to cook the sauce for a full 3 mimutes with constant stirring. I also use only 2 Tbs of flour for a less stiff sauce. Try bow tie pasta it holds the sauce beautifully! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This was a really easy really fast recipe to follow and the result was surprisingly delicious! The only downside I can find is that if someone is anticipating a very cheesy salt-laden dish this will seem a bit bland. I however love that it isn't incredibly salty. I'm a single person and this amount serves as a great lunch to make ahead of time to bring to work for a couple of days. I'm interested in trying it with different vegetables.:) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This recipes looks great but I would like to know what is the side dish that is in the picture t you served this with.:) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
I actually thought this was a little too garlic-y but other than that really really good. We used all cheddar and I added a bit of nutmeg to the cheese sauce. I would definitely make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Good no-bake recipe. It was a little bland so next time I will add more/stronger cheese. I used rice flour noodles and 1tsp xantham gum in place of flour as a thickener to make a gluten free recipe. Definitely a good alternative to thickening with flour and without the flour-y taste. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This is really good (even if I omit the garlic powder broccoli and mustard) but I find that it usually needs more salt for more flavor. I also use a quinoa elbow pasta which adds to the nutrition (my kids like the quinoa pasta too). I also adapted this to make a very smooth queso (cheese dip). I can't stand the Velveeta version and this version is healthier than using a roux (no butter). I also use skim milk. And if we are really trying to be healthy I make some baked tortilla chips from this recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/game-winning-guac-with-fresh-baked-tortilla-chips-recipe/index.html). For the queso I omit the noodles broccoli mustard Parmesan pepper and garlic powder and increase the Cheddar to 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces by weight). At the end I add a can of Rotel strained. If you put this on top of some heated vegetarian and/or low-fat and/or black refried beans you have a fairly healthy meal. Note: If you find your sauce to be bland don't be afraid to use an extra sharp cheddar and/or add more salt to taste (I find that another 1/2 teaspoon does well). Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Delicious and Easy to Make I can understand how some people found this to be a little plain but I thought it was delicious! I omitted the dijion mustard and used black pepper instead of white. I ate it for dinner/lunch all week. Some friends also tried it and enjoyed it as well. Only takes a few minutes to make - a nice alteration if you're really in the mood for comfort food! Pros: easy to make Cons: a bit plain Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Dutch husband loved this My husband thought it was fabulous and though he's a cheese lover he likes it mild. I would add some other cheese perhaps a blue type and a little nutmeg like someone else suggested. It's a good way to get someone to eat broccoli. Pros: Healthy version of mac and cheese Cons: A bit bland Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Never buying boxed stuff again This the fast simplest most delicious mac n' cheese I have ever made that the whole family agrees on. It is much more filling than the boxed stuff and can be made in the same time as the boxed stuff. Pros: Fast simple delicious Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
Quick Weeknight Meal Overall I'd describe this recipe as "good." It was easy to make and most kitchens have the ingredients on hand at any time. I agree with some other comments that it's a tad bland so I'd suggest using garlic salt instead of garlic powder or if you're looking to keep the salt content low use a stronger cheese. I wouldn't rave about this recipe but it was satisfactory to my taste buds and easy to make so I'm likely to make it again. Pros: Easy most ingredients are in every kitchen Cons: a little bland Read More