Serves a Crowd

Macaroni-and-Cheese (and Broccoli) Casserole

February 25, 2015
5 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

Very lightly adapted from Jonathon Sawyer's Noodle Kids. Two notes: 1) Use more broccoli if you like! 2) You can make the cheese sauce in advance; it also freezes well. —Nicholas Day

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 generous head of broccoli, cut into florets and stems peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Heat the oven to 400° F. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking dish, or another baking vessel of your choice. Fill a large pasta pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock and milk to boil. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the flour, butter, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. When the stock and milk begin to boil, slowly whisk in the cheese mixture. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. When the pasta pot boils, add the macaroni and cook until just al dente. Then add the broccoli and cook everything for a minute more. Drain.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the macaroni and broccoli with the cheese sauce. Transfer it all to the baking dish and top with bread crumbs and the rest of the Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ellen Berggren
    Ellen Berggren
  • Liz Dobson
    Liz Dobson
  • Ariel Tindolph
    Ariel Tindolph
  • Ntombi Dube
    Ntombi Dube
  • EmilyC
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

13 Reviews

MartyL January 6, 2020
I didn't know what a "generous head of broccoli" was but the web said that an average head was 9 ounces and so I used 12 ounces of home-grown. A "9-inch square baking dish" - not a chance and so I used a 9 x 13 and it all barely fit. "Serves 4 to 6" - lumberjacks perhaps but my wife and I could get 8 or more out of it. Also bottom line it doesn't have a lot of flavor.
Ellen B. April 20, 2019
Made half the recipe and that fits in a 9X9 pan. This wan’t bad, but it wasn’t great either and as other reviewers have noted, not worth dirtying three pans, a bowl and measuring cups, etc.
Liz D. January 4, 2018
This is a great recipe. I was able to make it with everything I already had on hand. I used a mix of cream cheese and cottage cheese in place of ricotta. And guess what...mine fit into a 9 inch baking dish :-) Loved incorporating broccoli for our kids. Also added some extra herbs for more flavor.
Ariel T. May 9, 2016
This did NOT fit in a 9x9 pan. The sauce ended up lumpy and I had to use my immersion blender to make it smooth. I upped the amount of bread crumbs to 1/2 a cup. Otherwise, a good recipe and I like that it had broccoli to make it a bit more healthy.
Ntombi D. February 26, 2016
Thanx for the macaroni and cheese. I don't eat bread what can I use to substitute bread crumbs?
Eileen February 25, 2016
What does the chicken broth add?

It's less complicated to make a thin bechamel sauce, melt in the cheese, stir in cooked pasta, put in casserole dish, and top with soft bread crumbs tossed with melted butter and/or oil, then bake. If you can make bechamel you don't need a recipe. Sometimes I shave raw carrot into the mix with a vegetable peeler. Tossing broccoli in with the pasta near the end of cooking is a good idea; I do this with another dish (a garlicky, lemony Alfredo-like sauce tossed with broccoli and rotini).
Eileen February 25, 2016
Dried mustard or Dijon mustard adds a lot. Add it to the bechamel.
Renee April 6, 2015
Too expensive and time consuming for what it is. And too many dishes to wash. I should've read the comments first - no way is this fitting in a 9 x 9 dish.
EmilyC March 15, 2015
I've been remiss in commenting on this. Mac and cheese is a staple in my household but I usually make it lazy-man style by mixing cream and shredded cheddar with cooked shells. So this was a nice change of pace with the broccoli and crunchy topping. I might omit the ricotta next time for more sharp cheddar or gruyere. And this didn't fit in a 9" pan as others have noted! : )
EmilyC March 15, 2015
Oh, I forgot to add that I added about 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs to increase the crunchy factor.
Judy S. March 3, 2015
I used a 9x13 pan because I knew that it would not fit in a 9-inch square, and I was right. This was good, but not great. If I were to make it again, I think that I'd add more parm or maybe something else savory (mustard powder?). It was a bit bland from the ricotta.
Joan G. March 2, 2015
Yes, very tasty, but definitely does not fit in a 9 inch baking pan! They had to be kidding!! Either no one reviewed the printed recipe, or no one at Food 52 made it!
Lukas P. March 2, 2015