Lighter Three-Cheese Mac
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 pound short tubular pasta, such as cavatappi
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 ounces Neufchatel cheese
- 3 cups 1% milk
- 1 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted
A serving of mac and cheese can pack up to 800 calories and 40 grams of fat. We whittled those numbers way down by subbing 1% milk for whole and creamy Neufchatel for higher-fat cheeses. Broccoli adds substance and vitamins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground mustard. Saute until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Neufchatel, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until incorporated. Gradually whisk in milk, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cheddar and Parmesan, then add pasta and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and bake until bubbling in center, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with panko, and serve.