Meatless Monday: Skillet Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

This one-pot meal is perfect for both meatless days and exhausting home-late days. Since it comes from KCET's America's Test Kitchen, the recipe does have an unexpected ingredient or two (namely evaporated milk, for better texture), but they've kept it relatively simple. Feel free to add more greens if you like, or keep the amount as-is if a little bit of masking is in order. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen
Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli
Serves 4
4 cups water, plus more as needed
10-12 oz broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
3 Tbs unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
12 oz pasta
3/4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp hot sauce
6 oz extra sharp white cheddar, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook until the broccoli is just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain broccoli and set aside.

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Wipe out the skillet and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup of the milk, 1/2 tsp salt, and the pasta. Bring to a fast simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is tender and the sauce has started to thicken, 9 to 12 minutes.

Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir into the skillet, and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, until melted. If the sauce seems too thick, add a few tablespoons of extra water. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, broccoli and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes to thicken before serving.

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