We love The Pioneer Woman over here at Food, Family, and Chaos! I have not made a recipe of hers that I did not like. No joke, I think I have made close to 100 of her recipes. For dinner tonight we are trying her recipe for baked mac and cheese with some adaptations to suit our family.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think I am a pretty good cook! I kid you not, I have tried dozens of mac and cheese recipes and have not found 1 that I like until now. This mac and cheese has all the right proportions of cheesy goodness. Here’s how the recipe goes.
The cast of characters:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter your baking dish. I am using disposable aluminum pans today to save on some cleanup but regular old casserole dishes are perfect.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the casserole elbow macaroni according to the package directions. Remember you are going to bake this so don’t overcook the macaroni, you want it to still be a little firm.
While the macaroni is cooking, steam the broccoli in a pot until soft. My kids like broccoli, but of course not in anything. So I make one pan with the broccoli and one smaller one without.
Once the broccoli is soft mash it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and set aside.
Now, let’s start the cheesy, melty, saucy goodness! Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add onion. Stir and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Sidenote: block your eyes from how brown the bottom of my pan is. It is my favorite pan! Can you tell I use it a lot?
Sprinkle in flour and dry mustard and stir. Add milk, chicken stock, and light cream. Stir and heat until just starting to bubble.
Are you ready? Here comes the good stuff! Add the cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and the Velvetta cheese. I feel you all cringing over the Velveeta, but trust me it makes the sauce what it is. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir until cheese melts.
Add the macaroni to the pot and stir it up.
Get ready to drool! Oh, my cheese…
Add the broccoli to the prepared baking dish. Now pour in your mac and cheese mixture and stir it on up. I also put the rest without the broccoli in a separate pan for the kids.
You can make the mac and cheese a day in advance up to this point and store it in the fridge.
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the dish.