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.

Julia Clancy
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2018


Recipe Summary

25 mins
25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta and broccoli rabe according to the package instructions. Drain.

  • Whisk 1/4 cup milk, flour, pesto, salt and pepper in a small bowl; place near the stove. Add the remaining 1 1/2 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 Facts

530 calories; protein 27.4g 55% DV; carbohydrates 60.9g 20% DV; dietary fiber 7.5g 30% DV; sugars 7.3g; fat 21.7g 33% DV; saturated fat 10.7g 54% DV; cholesterol 58.6mg 20% DV; vitamin a iu 1788.7IU 36% DV; vitamin c 8.3mg 14% DV; folate 100.6mcg 25% DV; calcium 587.4mg 59% DV; iron 4.1mg 23% DV; magnesium 123.5mg 44% DV; potassium 452.1mg 13% DV; sodium 728.8mg 29% DV.