Creamy and cheesy, this dressed-up version of mac and cheese provides all the goodness of comfort food without the extra fat. —Nancy Latulippe, Simcoe, Ontario
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
- 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups fat-free milk
- 2-1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, place 1 in. of water in a large saucepan; add broccoli. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
- In another saucepan, saute the onion, ham and red pepper in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in the cheese, parsley, mustard and seasonings until blended. Drain broccoli and macaroni; stir into cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish (dish will be full).
- Combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Broccoli-Ham Macaroni in Taste of Home April/May 2010, p55
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