Holy cow – it’s FEBRUARY!! How in the world did that happen!
My dear readers and friends…I must confess. The truth is this hot, creamy, cheesy concoction was supposed to be posted in January for you, but low and behold – life happened. And so here we are the first of Feb and I’m finally getting this out…luckily it’s still cold outside and this meal is still drooling-ly delicious! Please forgive :o)!
So…let me ask. Is there anyone who doesn’t just love macaroni and cheese? My kids practically dive in and so, ahem…does Jason! However, being a stickler for veggies and lots of protein, I just feel a bit chintzy serving it plain as a main dish dinner – so I always use whole wheat pasta and add in ham, broc, and cheesy tomatoes…and just YUM! Plus you know with all those complex nutrients, dinner will last in their little tummies longer…hence no bedtime snack requests on this night!
Cream cheese creams this up beautifully and the parm adds a bit of a bite that just intensifies the flavor. This three cheese blend is warm, creamy, cheesy, and not too tangy for my kiddos tastebuds – but bursting with layers of flavor – and we all just gobble it up.
It’s a frequent meal in our home during the winter months and I always love getting the “YEA!!!” when I answer the “what’s for dinner” question!
Hope y’all enjoy it as much as we do! Thanks for visiting and please – if you like, SHARE!
|Prep Time||30 minutes|
|Cook Time||30 minutes|
|Passive Time||10 minutes|
- 1 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 2 TBS butter
- 2 TBS all purpose flour
- 3 C skim milk
- 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- 4 oz cream cheese (half a brick I use Neufchatel cheese as it has 1/3 of fat
- 1/3 c shredded parmesan
- 3-4 C broccoli florets
- 1 lb cubed ham
- 2 lg tomatoes - thickly sliced drain slices on paper towels while mac and cheese bakes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook macaroni in salted water - whole wheat usually takes 7-9 minutes. Leave al dente as the mac will absorb cheese sauce as it cooks after prep in the oven. Add broccoli to boiling water in the last minute of cooking and drain well.
- While pasta is boiling, melt butter in a separate pan and whisk in flour and S&P if desired. Once the butter and flour have been combined, add the milk all at once and mix well. Cook and whisk until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add 1.5 C of cheddar, Parmesan, and cream cheeses. Stir in until melted.
- Add in cubed ham, broccoli and macaroni.
- Transfer to casserole dish (or leave in same pan if it’s oven proof), and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Take out and place tomato slices on top. Sprinkle with S&P and remaining cheddar. Add a little more Parmesan if desired.
- Return to oven for 5 minutes and let stand 10 min or so before serving. Serve with a side of cooked frozen spinach if desired. Enjoy!