Lighter Three Cheese Mac with Broccoli

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound short tubular pasta, such as cavatappi
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces Neufchatel cheese
  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 1 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground mustard. Saute until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Neufchatel, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until incorporated. Gradually whisk in milk, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cheddar and Parmesan, then add pasta and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and bake until bubbling in center, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with panko, and serve.

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