I love me some mac n cheese. It has to be one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. But unfortunately it’s not realistic to eat it every day. I wanted to make a healthified version of it and stumbled across this amazing recipe from Annie’s Eats. With just a few tweaks I made it all my own. It’s a delicious way to get some good eats into your belly!
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 head broccoli (or 12 ounces), cut into small florets
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 shallots, diced
- 2 1/2 cups milk (reduced fat is ok)
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
- Place the broccoli in a saucepan and add a couple inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil just 1-2 minutes more, until the broccoli is crisp-tender. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then, whisk in the flour and cayenne. Continue whisking the mixture until it is light golden, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the cheddar until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken, quinoa, and broccoli until evenly combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!