Quick Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Broccoli Rabe

Quick Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Broccoli Rabe

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From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2018

A swirl of prepared pesto gives this healthy mac and cheese recipe instant delicious flavor. If broccoli rabe is too bitter, try using broccolini or regular broccoli instead.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli rabe
  • 1¾ cups reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1⅓ cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup toasted breadcrumbs (see Tip)


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta and broccoli rabe according to the package instructions. Drain.
  2. Whisk ¼ cup milk, flour, pesto, salt and pepper in a small bowl; place near the stove. Add the remaining 1½ cups milk to the saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until just simmering. Add the flour mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Gruyère, cream cheese and vinegar until the cream cheese is melted. Stir the pasta and broccoli rabe into the sauce. Serve topped with breadcrumbs.
  • Tip: To make toasted breadcrumbs, trim the crusts from 2 slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor into coarse crumbs. Toss breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 530 calories; 22 g fat(11 g sat); 7 g fiber; 61 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 101 mcg folate; 59 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,789 IU vitamin A; 8 mg vitamin C; 587 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 729 mg sodium; 452 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (59% daily value), Vitamin A (36% dv), Folate (25% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4

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