recipes

Bacon Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Such a comfort food 🙂

My family believes in macaroni and cheese.  We had a macaroni and cheese bar at our wedding!  We love it in all of its ever-changeable forms.  This one is nice because it has broccoli (healthy AND delicious) and bacon (mostly just delicious).

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • One big broccoli crown cut into florets
  • 8 oz rigatoni (other pastas are fine, but I like how rigatoni holds the yummies in this one)
  • 1.5 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1.75 cups milk
  • 4 slices processed cheese (Velveeta, Kraft, etc.)
  • A cup or so of shredded cheddar
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • PRO TIP – I’m a big believer in bacon and in buying bulk.  I buy the biggest packs of bacon the grocery store has and I divide it up when I get home into stacks of 4, then put those stacks into Ziploc bags in the freezer to pull out when I want to use!  It saves money and it means I almost always have some emergency bacon available!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Steam the broccoli until it is bright green but still a little crisp.  About 5 minutes should do the trick.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions on the box.  For rigatoni, that will be 8 minutes in boiling water until al dente.  Drain it in your colander.
  3. Melt butter in a big skillet.  Sprinkle the flour into the butter and stir it until smooth.  Slowly add milk, stirring throughout to keep it smooth and delicious.  Cook until slightly thick, then remove from heat. * (see note below)
  4. Add in the cheese slices and stir until smooth, then add in the shredded cheddar, green onions, bacon, and salt/pepper.
  5. Stir it all together with the broccoli and pasta and serve immediately!

*NOTE:

I know, I know.  You see where it says “slowly add milk” and you’re like, “THAT’S WEAK, I CAN ADD IT ALL AT ONCE BECAUSE I’M STRONG!” and I’m here to tell you that you are wrong.  Add it slowly.  Add a splash, stir until smooth, then add another splash.  Yes, it feels tedious.  Yes, you’ll think to yourself that it would be faster to add it all at once, but doing it right makes the consistency perfect, and if you’re not going to make your sauce smooth and delicious, what are you even doing with your life???

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Take your time. No rush.

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