Lightened Up Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like macaroni & cheese.  I don’t normally indulge in heavy pasta dishes for obvious health reasons, but when I saw the skinny version of this delicious meal on Gina’s Skinny Recipes, I knew I had to try it.  My friend Renee and I whipped this up on Halloween weekend for our guys and, let’s just say it was a hit.  The boys loved it so much that, when they went back for seconds, they stood in the kitchen eating it right by the macaroni for easy access to additional helpings.  LOL.

While this is a much lighter dish than traditional macaroni & cheese, it’s still carb heavy and therefore should be considered an indulgence.  But I think it’s important to enjoy everything in moderation and I love when I can make my “cheat” meals a little (or a lot!) less fatty than they normally would be.  At just 315 calories per cup, this macaroni & cheese is a fantastic way to satisfy your cravings without setting you back in the health department.  Plus it’s chock full of broccoli!

This is the ultimate cold weather comfort food and would be a GREAT Thanksgiving dish.  It tastes really indulgent, no one will know it’s skinny.  I promise!!  Oh and did I mention how EASY it is?  Renee and I sipped wine (and I may have had a tequila shot or two–hey it was Halloween!) and chatted away while cooking this and we couldn’t believe how simple the recipe is.


Skinny Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese  (Serves 8)

From Gina’s Skinny Recipes


  • 12 oz high fiber elbows (like Ronzoni Smart Taste)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth—we used vegetable)
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets (we used pre-cut bag)
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
  • cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes)
  • Spray a baking dish with cooking spray
  • In a large, heavy skillet, melt butters
  • Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes
  • Add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined
  • Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper
  • Once the sauce is thick, remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden

14 thoughts on “Lightened Up Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Healthy Recipe Round Up: 9 Simple, Skinny & Delicious Dishes | Gourmet Beauty

  2. Pingback: Moroccan Shrimp with Spinach | Gourmet Beauty

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