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One-Pot Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

Taking a minute to sizzle some garlic in olive oil is a simple way to pep up the cheese sauce for this easy homemade mac and cheese, and the flavor plays well with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in this family-friendly pasta dish. This recipe is designed for you to make a big batch of the cheese sauce to use in different dishes: Stir it into pasta and veggies to make this pasta a one-pot dinner then use it for Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole later in the week (see Associated Recipes). Or simply serve it over your favorite steamed vegetables for an easy side dish. If you'd rather make just enough sauce for this pasta, simply cut the sauce amounts in half.

Nutrition Profile
  • Egg Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • Bone Health
  • Healthy Aging
  • Healthy Immunity
  • Healthy Pregnancy
  • High Calcium

Cheese Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter ( ½ stick)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 2½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Pasta & Vegetables
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rotini or rigatoni
  • 8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered if large)
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (1-inch)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Prep - 20 m
Ready In - 20 m
  1. To prepare cheese sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until thickened and just starting to turn light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat and, a handful at a time, whisk in Cheddar and Parmesan until smooth. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt. (Reserve 1½ cups for another use.) 
  2. Meanwhile, prepare pasta & vegetables: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 4 minutes less than package directions. Stir in Brussels sprouts and cauliflower and continue cooking until the pasta and vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes more. Drain well.
  3. Dry the pot and set over medium heat. Add oil and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add the hot pasta and vegetables and stir to combine. Add 2½ cups of the cheese sauce and salt; reduce heat to medium-low and stir until steaming-hot, about 1 minute. (Do not boil.)
  • To make ahead: Prepare cheese sauce (Step 1). Transfer to a 4-cup heatproof container and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.


Nutrition Information
  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Per Serving: 591 calories; 28 g fat(14 g sat); 9 g fiber; 63 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 115 mcg folate; 67 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,412 IU vitamin A; 96 mg vitamin C; 504 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 730 mg sodium; 911 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (160% daily value), Calcium (50% dv), Folate (29% dv), Vitamin A (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 fat, 2 vegetable, 1½ high-fat protein, ½ reduced-fat dairy

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