Recipes

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese: A Weight Watchers Recipe

I planned to post this recipe in my weekly recap on Friday, but I’m so excited about it I could not weight! (See what I did there?)

Behold, a WW-friendly recipe that doesn’t taste like health food. This recipe packs in flavor, cheesy wonderfulness, and doesn’t leave me hungry.

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These iPhone photos aren’t my best.

I originally found this recipe on SkinnyTaste and then later on Weight Watchers’ website. There are a couple differences in the two recipes, but I combined elements of each to create my own.

The SkinnyTaste recipe is listed as 8 pp for 1 cup of pasta and the Weight Watcher’s recipes is listed as 7 pp for 1/8 of a 9×13 pan portion. The SkinnyTaste recipe calls for more cheese, less milk, less broccoli than its WW counterpart.

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Ingredients:

– 12 oz. pasta (I like Ronzoni Garden Delight. It has a bit of veggie and this particular box was a mix of penne, rigatoni and shells!)
– 2 cups (8 oz.) reduced fat cheddar cheese (I had a hard time finding ANY reduced fat cheese at the grocery store. I bought the WW brand cheddar blend.)
– 2 cups skim milk
– 1/2 cup chopped onion (I tend to use yellow onions.)
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 T butter
– 1/2 t garlic powder
– 1/2 t Mrs. Dash Original (One of my favorite seasonings. No sodium!)
– black pepper
– 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned bread crumbs.)
– 2 T grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 375.
– Begin by cooking the onions in the butter in a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Cook until they become translucent.
– While the onions are doing their thing, cook the pasta al dente. About 9 minutes for the type of pasta I bought.
– Cook the broccoli in the microwave. I put my broccoli in a microwave safe dish, add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.
– Add flour. Stir continuously to keep the flour from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook on medium until it all becomes golden brown. This shouldn’t take too long.
– Add milk. Increase heat to medium high and continue stirring to keep the onions and flour from sticking to the bottom. Over time this will thicken. Add garlic powder, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Once you see some bubbles rise to the top, decrease the heat and continue to stir. When it becomes the consistency of thin gravy remove it from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese. After you stir in the cheese, you’ll want to move quickly to put the dish together.
– Put the drained pasta and broccoli in a 9×13 glass pan (spray it first!). Mix it up. Pour cheese sauce over and stir everything together.

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Colorful AND delicious!

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– Disperse bread crumbs and Parmesan over the top. I also added a light sprinkle of Mrs. Dash, because I love it so much.
– Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then broil for 5 minutes.

This makes one fantastic meal! Tastes like comfort food, but doesn’t break the PointsPlus bank. Give it a try and let me know what you think! I think adding cubed grilled chicken to this would be awesome!

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