• Cook with Steph

Mac and Cheese with a Brocolli Twist

This is a definite family fav and one that I enjoy teaching my students. We learn so much in the lesson. How to make an all in one sauce, using semi skimmed milk to lower the fat content. Using a mature cheddar for flavour so you don't need to add so much. I also add a crushed clove of garlic to the sauce which bring out the flavour of the cheese and just adds a little extra kick. Adding broccoli to the recipe for extra crunch, vits and mins and finally topping it with wholemeal breadcrumbs for extra fibre.

Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 300g broccoli florets (roughly 1 whole stem)

  • 200g mature cheddar (150g for the dish, 50g for the topping)

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 300g dried macaroni

  • 50g butter

  • 50g plain flour

  • 750ml semi skimmed milk

  • 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

  • 50g breadcrumbs or 1 thick slice of bread blitzed

Equipment: Large saucepan, sharp knife, chopping board, grater, colander, sieve or steamer, medium non-stick pan, wooden or heatproof spoon, whisk, ovenproof dish, food processor (optional), teaspoon measure.

Before you start:

  • Have all of the ingredients weighed out ready.

  • Collect together all of the equipment.

  • Fill up a washing up bowl or the sink with hot soapy water for washing your hands.

  • Have a hand towel, tea towel, oven gloves and dish cloth ready.

  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil for the pasta.

  • Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

What to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

  3. Cut the broccoli into florets using a sharp knife. Grate the cheddar cheese. Peel and chop the garlic.

  4. Cook the macaroni in the boiling water for 6-8 mins until just tender. Place the broccoli in a colander (or sieve) and set over the boiling pasta for the last 5 mins until almost tender. Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander and return to the large saucepan.

  5. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium non-stick pan, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook for a further minute - this is your roux! Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk.

  6. Return the pan to the heat and gradually bring to the boil, whisking all the time until you have a lump-free smooth sauce. Simmer for 3 mins over a very low heat, whisking all the time until thickened. Take off the heat, then stir in three quarters of the cheddar cheese and the Dijon mustard (if using). Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. Pour the cheesy sauce over the pasta and broccoli and stir well, then spoon into a large ovenproof dish.

  8. Mix together the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and scatter over the top, then bake for 20 mins in the oven until crisp and golden.


  • Freeze the mac and cheese before baking to use another day - defrost thoroughly before cooking.

  • Add cooked, chopped crispy bacon to the recipe for a delicious addition to the flavour.

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