Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese
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Ingredients
  • 3-4 slices of bacon, cooked (I recommend baking it in the oven to make it extra crispy.)
  • 5-6 ounces freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, steamed or blanched
  • 8 ounces of pasta, measured by weight
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste, if desired
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  2. Measure out all your ingredients, chop your broccoli and grate your cheese.
  3. Boil pasta per package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside once done.
  4. While the pasta cooks, cook broccoli via your favorite method. I'm a big fan of quickly blanching broccoli in hot water until the florets are bright green and tender.
  5. For the sauce, melt the butter over medium heat.
  6. Add flour and whisk constantly while the flour cooks off into a roux, approx. 3 minutes.Next, season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
  7. Slowly pour in your milk, whisking constantly until smooth and fully incorporated. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it rests.
  8. Add pasta and broccoli florets to a 9-inch or larger baking dish. You can add diced/shredded cooked chicken at this point as well if you desire to make this more like a casserole.
  9. Sprinkle 5-6 ounces of freshly grated cheese on top of the pasta.
  10. Pour your cream sauce over the noodles and cheese and use a rubber spatula to fold it all together. Feel free to top with a little extra cheese if you'd like, then top with bacon.
  11. Bake on center rack at 350° for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Recipe by Premeditated Leftovers™ at https://premeditatedleftovers.com/bacon-broccoli-mac-cheese/