Monday, November 10, 2014

Baked Broccoli & Ham Mac and Cheese

Hot pasta, diced ham, and broccoli florets are tossed in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and Parmesan, and baked to perfection. Comforting, warm, and a crowd pleaser.

Yeah, mac and cheese is where it's at. I've yet to meet someone who isn't a fan and if I did, I wouldn't want to know them long as there is something seriously wrong. Pasta. Cheese. The End.

Sometimes, you just want to eat mac and cheese for dinner. And while you think a big bowl of it is a perfectly acceptable meal, your husband does not... because there is no meat.

So you toss in ham for him. And because he insisted on meat, you throw in broccoli because you love it. And it makes it healthy.

Baked until bubbly and stuff your face worthy.

This is also perfect for those times when you need to deliver a home cooked meal to a friend!

Baked Broccoli & Ham Mac and Cheese
16 ounces pasta (your choice of shape)
1.5 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
12 ounce bag fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
8 ounces diced ham
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta and broccoli according to the package directions for al dente. Drain well and set aside.

Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375.

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add the onion and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook another minute. Add the milk and chicken broth and whisk. Raise heat to 375 and bring to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove sauce from heat and add the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until completely melted. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Stir in the chopped ham, cooked pasta, and broccoli and mix well.

Pour into the prepared pan and top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Lightly spray the top with additional cooking spray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for an additional 1-3 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown on top.

Source: adapted from Skinnytaste

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