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The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese

The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese // Karista's Kitchen

Well this has been an interesting day.

I tested a muffin recipe for the fourth time this morning and Horray! It worked. I was sweating this one. I burnt the first set of brown sugar bacon because I wasn’t paying attention and then I added way too much vodka to the bloody mary’s that I was supposed to shoot.  I had to run back to the market for more tomato juice, which of course is more than just a little hike from where I live.

I’m still in my yoga pants and ball cap (because Tank and I went on our run this morning) the kitchen looks like a meal exploded and my daughter has friends coming over in an hour. Hmm…  I will not be sipping bloody mary’s today. 🙁

What did happen was my absolute favorite Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipe.  

I’m out tonight with the youngest sassy gal and I thought I’d make it to leave in the fridge for the rest of my Bennett Crew.  It’s hands down one of the best Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipes I’ve tasted.  Not because I make it ALL the time, but because it’s the most delicious, creamy and lush sauce that will make you want to pour it in a pretty glass and sip.

The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese // Karista's Kitchen

Laced with garlic, dry mustard and paprika, this cheese sauce is everything you expect in a macaroni and cheese sauce.

A silky texture that gently blankets the broccoli and macaroni with robust flavor that keeps one coming back for seconds.  Every type and brand of cheddar is a little different and will change the flavor profile a bit.  So be sure to use your favorite cheddar cheese or a quality local cheddar is always a good choice.

After posting this Broccoli Mac and Cheese recipe I’m off to clean up the disaster downstairs and apply a little make-up, so I won’t scare people. Hope your day is a happy one!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Serving Size: 4-6

The Best Broccoli Mac and Cheese


  • 12 ounces to 1 lb macaroni pasta or gluten free macaroni
  • 1 lb fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized florets or one 10-12 ounce package frozen broccoli florets
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large or 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 cups warm half n half, depending on how thin or thick you like the sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dry-yellow mustard
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded good quality cheddar cheese (I love an aged Irish cheddar)
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs or panko
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter


  • Butter 4-6 individual serving dishes or one 9x11 baking dish.
  • Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, however, 5-8 minutes prior to the pasta being done, add the broccoli florets to the pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is done and broccoli is crisp tender.
  • While the pasta and broccoli are simmering, make the sauce.
  • Add the butter to a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and stir for one minute. Then whisk in the flour and let it cook another minute.
  • Next slowly whisk in 2 cups of the warm half n half. Once the mixture begins to thicken, add ¼ cup more milk at a time, as needed for the desired consistency
  • Stir the dry-yellow mustard and paprika into the cheese sauce. Then take the sauce off the heat and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Toss the drained pasta and broccoli with the cheese sauce and then place in the individual baking dishes or one larger baking dish.
  • Mix together the ¼ cup shredded cheddar, the panko or breadcrumbs and the olive oil. Sprinkle it over the Broccoli Mac and Cheese and pop it under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the topping is toasty.
  • Remove from the oven and serve.
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  • Reply
    November 24, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Oh, days like that are so frustrating! You’re a good mamma for whipping this up for your family…I’d have ordered take out! I absolutely love your cheese sauce recipe! That dry mustard is genius! Pinning to make this over the weekend! Happy Thanksgiving my sweet friend!

    • Reply
      November 27, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Lol! Thanks Caroline, but there are times I tell the family to browse the fridge for leftovers or order a pizza. 😉 Wishing you a very Happy Holiday season Caroline!

  • Reply
    kelley {mountain mama cooks}
    December 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    We all have days like that! I burned an apple pie the other day, forgot to add leavening to a quick bread and didn’t turn on the slow cooker before we went skiing last weekend. All you can do is start fresh the next day! This mac looks awesome. I’m on a huge broccoli kick right now and love the addition in this! Big hugs!! xo, Kelley

    • Reply
      December 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Kelley I’m glad I’m not the only one. There are days I am such a disaster! We love mac and cheese and I happen to be on a broccoli kick too. 🙂 I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and wishing you and your gorgeous family a very Happy Holidays!! Big Hugs back at ya. xoxo Karista

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