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I whipped this up as a slightly healthier baked mac and cheese that acts as a whole meal. I've used canadian bacon or ham for this recipe, but that is easily subbed for veggies for a comforting veggy meal.
- 1 cup Canadian bacon or 1 cup ham, half inch cube or 1 cup shelled edamame or 1 cup cooked mushroom
- 1 cup broccoli, floweretts cut small
- 2 cups cooked whole wheat rotini pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 cup wheat flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 3⁄4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese (can use shredded or small cubes of Parm as well)
- 1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Cook your pasta slightly less than al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Melt butter in a pan and sprinkle in flour. Cook for about two minutes then add milk and whisk to combine.
- Cook milk mixture (bechamel) on medium low for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is bubbly. The sauce should have reduced slightly as well. If the sauce is too thick add more milk.
- Add Monterey jack, Parmesan, mustard, salt and pepper to bechamel. Combine while cheese melts and taste and reseason if necessary (remember it's less salty after combining with the pasta and veggies).
- Mix pasta, veggies and meat (if using) into the cheese sauce. Pour half of the mixture into an oven-proof container and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar. Layer the other half of mixture and then sprinkle bread crumbs and then cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and casserole is bubbly.
The kids fussed at first because I strayed from the traiditional mac & chz, but once they took a few bites they were hooked! No leftovers for us!