protein-packed broccoli mac and cheese

enjoy from the pot or with the crunchy (broccoli!) breadcrumb topper.
Jump to Recipe

protein-packed broccoli mac and cheese

see it in action…

protein-packed broccoli mac and cheese

4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short protein pasta noodle (I use Barilla Protein Plus elbow noodles)
  • head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets (3-4 cups), divided
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (I use whole milk Good Culture)
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk (I use Fairlife)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 cup), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Two minutes before it’s done, add MOST of the broccoli (reserve a handful of florets). Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, blitz remaining broccoli in a high-speed blender until crumbly. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the panko, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  • Rinse out the blender. Add the cottage cheese, milk, cornstarch, cheddar, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, mustard, garlic powder, salt, several grinds black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the now-empty pasta pot over medium-low heat. Add the sauce and cook until gently bubbling and beginning to thicken, 4 to 5 minutes. (Do not increase the heat!) Remove from the heat, wait for the bubbling to stop, and then stir in the pasta and broccoli. Taste and season with more salt as needed.
  • Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining Parmesan, followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Bake until bubbling and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Inspired by Lauren Fit Foodie and Heidi Swanson. 

Yes?

No?

let me know what you think!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *