Mac & Cheese Makeover

Source: Courtesy of California Walnut Board
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Main Ingredient: Cheese, Dairy
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 50

This twist on a family favorite with broccoli and walnuts is the real McCoy! For maximum flavor using minimal saturated fat, be sure to use very sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe.

Ingredients

3 quarts 1% low-fat milk
16 cups whole-wheat elbow macaroni
8 cups chopped broccoli
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
1 tbsp. salt
4 cups (packed) grated sharp cheddar cheese
11/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
16 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled
4 cups chopped walnuts

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-qt. rectangular hotel pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. Heat milk until very hot but do not let boil; set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender.  Toss in chopped broccoli and wait about 30 sec. Drain entire pot into a colander.
  4. Heat large saucepan over med. heat. Add oil; whisk in flour, mustard and garlic powder. Keep whisking until mixture forms thick paste.
  5. Add warm milk, whisking until smooth. Cook 2 min., stirring until thick and velvety.  Add salt, half the cheddar, Parmesan and paprika; stir until cheese is fully blended.  Remove from heat.
  6. Add macaroni and broccoli and remaining cheddar. Stir until all pasta is well-coated. 
  7. Transfer to prepared pan; top with breadcrumbs and walnuts. Bake uncovered in top part of oven about 40 min. or until bubbly around edges and crisp on top. Serve warm.