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Taking a minute to sizzle some garlic in olive oil is a simple way to pep up the cheese sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese, and the flavor plays well with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in this family-friendly pasta dish. This recipe is designed for you to make a big batch of the cheese sauce to use in different dishes: Stir it into pasta and veggies to make this pasta a one-pot dinner then use it for Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole later in the week (see Associated Recipes). Or simply serve it over your favorite steamed vegetables for an easy side dish. If you'd rather make just enough sauce for this pasta, simply cut the sauce amounts in half.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, September 2019




Cheese Sauce
Pasta & Vegetables


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cheese sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until thickened and just starting to turn light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat and, a handful at a time, whisk in Cheddar and Parmesan until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Reserve 1 1/2 cups for another use.)

  • Meanwhile, prepare pasta & vegetables: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 4 minutes less than package directions. Stir in Brussels sprouts and cauliflower and continue cooking until the pasta and vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes more. Drain well.

  • Dry the pot and set over medium heat. Add oil and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add the hot pasta and vegetables and stir to combine. Add 2 1/2 cups of the cheese sauce and salt; reduce heat to medium-low and stir until steaming-hot, about 1 minute. (Do not boil.)

To make ahead

Prepare cheese sauce (Step 1). Transfer to a 4-cup heatproof container and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

2 cups
591 calories; protein 24.8g; carbohydrates 62.6g; dietary fiber 9.3g; sugars 10.1g; fat 28g; saturated fat 13.9g; cholesterol 67.1mg; vitamin a iu 1411.6IU; vitamin c 95.7mg; folate 114.8mcg; calcium 504.4mg; iron 3.4mg; magnesium 51.9mg; potassium 911.1mg; sodium 729.6mg.

3 starch, 2 fat, 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 high-fat protein, 1/2 reduced-fat dairy