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Cheesy Mac and Trees

Cheesy Mac and Trees


  • Salt

  • 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain rotini or penne with lines

  • 1 large head broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 2 cups low fat milk

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, divided

  • Pepper

  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped or 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)


Pre-heat the broiler.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions (about 10-12 minutes total, depending on the brand). When the pasta has been cooking for a couple of minutes, add the broccoli to the water and finish cooking everything together, 8 minutes more.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the stock and milk. Let the sauce thicken to coat the back of a spoon; stir in 2 cups of cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and toss with the sauce. Adjust the seasonings, to taste. Place in a large casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese and chives or scallions, then place under the broiler to bubble and brown the top. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to