Brussels Sprout Mac and Cheese

Happy National Cheese Day! What better way to celebrate that with some pasta covered in it? When it comes to mac and cheese, I tend to prefer the stove top varieties bnecause they are creamier. I have never met a baked version that could compete. That was until this recipe happened because it just may be the creamiest baked mac and cheese ever.

When Lindsay (Love & Olive Oil) posted about this recipe and explained how many sub-par batches of mac and cheese she and Taylor had to eat before reaching the perfect consistency and flavor, I knew I had to make it with the exact same cheeses. It was surprisingly difficult to locate mild white cheddar in the grocery stores near me, but finally found one and it was well worth the hunt.

Don’t like Brussels sprouts? Leave them out or substitute for another veggie, such as broccoli. This creamy mac and cheese is the perfect base to which you can incorporate any of your favorite add-ins.

Brussels Sprout Mac and Cheese


BRUSSELS SPROUT MAC AND CHEESE

Serves 4 as side or 2 as entree

Ingredients:

4 oz. whole wheat elbow macaroni

1 cup + 2 Tbsp whole milk

2-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 oz. mild white cheddar cheese, grated and divided

1 oz. gruyere cheese, grated

1 oz. pecorino cheese, grated

4 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cored, and very thinly sliced

2 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8×8-inch (or 7×9) casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions until just barely al-dente (about 1 minute less than recommended cook time). Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saute pan set over medium heat. When butter is melted and frothy, add flour and whisk until smooth and begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly pour in warm milk,whisking vigorously, until all the milk is incorporated and mixture is smooth.
  4. Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking regularly, until sauce bubbles and has thickened slightly, about 5 top 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cayenne, paprika, and salt and pepper. Slowly add cheeses, a handful at a time, whisking until melted before adding more. Add all but 1/2 cup of the white cheddar cheese (set aside for sprinkling on top). Stir in macaroni and sliced Brussels sprouts until evenly coated.
  5. Pour into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese and breadcrumbs over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is bubbling, then broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Halved from Love & Olive Oil.

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