Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and nutrients!

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese? There are lots of implications around the word healthy (which we’ll get into below). Here’s the thing: mac and cheese can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. And this one is all about balance: it’s got big flavor, a bit less cheese per serving than the standard recipe, and it’s loaded with broccoli for a dose of nutrients and fiber. What’s not to love? This one’s on our regular rotation (and it’s 100% kid friendly: our 5 year old adores it!).

Ingredients in this healthy mac and cheese

The word “healthy” is a loaded term: to many people it connotes shame and diet culture. It’s also incredibly subjective, because there’s no exact definition on exactly what healthy is. Mac and cheese can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when it’s eaten in moderation and served with a balance of fruits and vegetables.

This recipe is an exercise in that balance: it’s got a bit less cheese than the standard mac and cheese recipe, and it’s got broccoli to balance the carbs out with fiber. Of course, you can have your broccoli on the side if you prefer it that way: and it’s just as good. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Pasta: macaroni, shells or short pasta (we used cavatappi)
  • Olive oil
  • Broccoli
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt
  • Italian panko, for serving: we like to top with seasoned breadcrumbs! Italian panko are seasoned with Italian herbs and salt (you can also use them instead of croutons, like in this Kale Caesar Salad).
Healthy Mac and Cheese

The secret ingredient

The secret ingredient in this healthy mac and cheese? Pecorino Romano cheese! Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese with a very salty, savory flavor. This cheese has long been one of our favorite types of cheese to use because it’s so flavorful. It especially transforms vegetarian dishes because of its intensely savory flavor.

All you need are two tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano here, and it makes all the difference! Try not to leave it out. (We tried once and it didn’t taste nearly as delicious!) You should be able to find it at your local grocery store in either grated or shredded containers. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt. 

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Why to add broccoli to healthy mac and cheese

Of course, you can eat the broccoli on the side: or a side salad! But this healthy mac and cheese actually very tasty with the broccoli intermixed. Here’s why we like it:

  • The contrast in texture helps you slow down while eating it. Ever feel like you can quickly inhale a mountain of mac and cheese? The different texture of broccoli helps us to slow down and enjoy each bite, making it a more satisfying meal and helping us eat a reasonable portion size.
  • It adds fiber. There’s no fiber in noodles. But 1 cup of broccoli adds 2.4 grams fiber, which is 5 to 10% of your daily need (this is the amount in one serving of the mac and cheese).
  • It also adds nutrients. Broccoli is also high in nutrients like iron, folate, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and K1.

Sides for healthy mac and cheese

This healthy mac and cheese is part of our regular repertoire — our 5 year old in particular loves it! And so do we. Here are a few kid friendly and adult friendly side dish ideas to pair with it for an easy weeknight:

Healthy Mac and Cheese

More mac and cheese recipes

We’ve got traditional mac and cheese recipes too! Here are a few of our top favorite ways to make this classic:

This healthy mac and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Print
Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Healthy mac and cheese? This recipe has big flavor with less cheese than most and added broccoli for fiber and nutrients!


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, shells or other short cut pasta (if desired, use gluten-free or legume pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups small florets of broccoli (2 heads)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or 1 cup cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons grated or shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (don’t omit!*)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Italian seasoned panko, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, (about 8 minutes; start tasting a few minutes before your package instructions indicate). 
  2. Cut the broccoli into very small florets. In a large saucepan, add a drizzle of olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes until tender, then add a splash of water and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook 2 minutes more until bright green and tender. Remove the broccoli from the pan (and wipe it out if necessary).
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded mozzarella, cheddar and Pecorino Romano cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the ½ teaspoon salt. (If the sauce is too sticky, you can add ¼ cup more milk to get a creamier texture.) 
  4. Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce, stirring to combine, and heat just until the pasta is warmed through. Taste and add the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. If desired, sprinkle with Italian panko and serve. 

Notes

*This is the secret flavor maker. Pecorino Romano is an aged cheese similar to Parmesan, but saltier and more savory. If you can’t find it, use Parmesan cheese and a few more pinches of salt. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Healthy mac and cheese

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad

Chicken, broccoli, onion, and a creamy pesto dressing make this quick salad a delicious new lunchtime staple!

The post Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Last year I made an amazing Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad that was just to die for, and ever since I’ve wanted to try a pesto-based version. Well, that day has finally come and I’m here to say that it’s just as easy and totally delish! So if you need another quick and filling refrigerator salad to make for lunches, this Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad is it!

Close up side view of pesto chicken broccoli salad in a bowl.

What Kind of Chicken to Use

This Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad is the perfect recipe for store-bought rotisserie chicken, but if that’s not your jam you can totally cook your own boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs. You’ll need about one cup of chopped cooked chicken (the amount is flexible), which will be about one chicken breast or two chicken thighs.

What Kind of Pesto to Use

I like the freshness of a basil pesto for this recipe. The herbal flavor really lightens up the dish. Pesto can be on the pricey side, but there are several brands that are a bit more affordable. Look for Alessi, Barilla, Classico, or Filippo Berio. And don’t let the rest of that jar of pesto go to waste! Check out our pesto recipe archives for ways to make sure every last drop gets put to good use.

Is the Broccoli Raw??

Yes, this salad is made with raw broccoli. The extra crunchy broccoli gives this salad tons of texture and helps it hold up well in the refrigerator for days. If you absolutely can not do raw broccoli, the next best option would probably be very lightly steamed broccoli, so that it still has some texture but that edge of raw flavor has been taken off.

How to Serve Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad

You can eat this salad alone in a bowl, stuff it into a pita, scoop some on top of a green salad, or wrap it up in a tortilla. There are so many options!

Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad in a pita.
Close up side view of Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad in a bowl.

Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad

Chicken, broccoli, onion, and a creamy pesto dressing make this quick salad a delicious new lunchtime staple!
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.18 recipe / $1.55 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 257kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken* $3.50
  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli (about 2 cups chopped) $1.25
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion $0.08
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto $1.00
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $0.29
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02

Instructions

  • Chop the chicken and broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces. Finely dice the red onion.
  • In a bowl, stir together the pesto, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.
  • Add the chicken, broccoli, and red onion to a large bowl. Pour the creamy pesto over top, and add the freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Taste the salad and add salt or pepper to your liking. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

*You can use store-bought rotisserie chicken, or cook your own chicken breast in a skillet.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 298mg | Fiber: 3g
Overhead view of a bowl of pesto chicken and broccoli salad.

How to Make Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad – Step by Step Photos

Cooked chicken breast in a skillet.

You’ll want about one cup (give or take some) of chopped cooked chicken for this recipe. The easiest option is to use store-bought rotisserie chicken. But, if you aren’t using a rotisserie chicken, you can cook one chicken breast or two chicken thighs to use for this recipe. If you need instructions for cooking chicken breast in a skillet, see my tutorial here. Make sure to let the chicken cool before using it in the recipe.

Creamy pesto dressing in a bowl with a spoon.

To make the creamy pesto dressing, stir together ¼ cup basil pesto, ¼ cup mayonnaise, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board.

Chop about two cups of broccoli into small bite-sized pieces. Making sure to chop the broccoli small enough is key to making this salad work. They should be small enough that a few pieces could fit onto a fork.

Chopped chicken on a cutting board.

Chop the chicken into small ¼-½ inch pieces (the cutting board pictured above is quite small, for reference)

Broccoli, chicken, and red onion in a bowl.

Finely dice ¼ cup red onion. Place the broccoli, chicken, and onion in a bowl.

Pesto dressing being poured over the salad.

Pour the creamy pesto dressing over the ingredients in the bowl. Add about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Finished pesto chicken and broccoli salad in the bowl.

Stir everything together, give it a taste, and add salt or pepper to taste.

Pesto chicken and broccoli salad in pita pockets on a plate.

Enjoy in a bowl, stuffed into a pita, or on a green salad!

The post Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches

Impress your guests with the perfect little mini broccoli cheddar quiches. Great for Easter, Mother’s Day, or any brunch gathering.

The post Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A couple of years ago I made these adorable little mini pecan pies, and then last year I did a pumpkin pie version, and now I’m doing it with a savory pie! Or a quiche, rather. These cute little two-bite Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches make a fun grab-n-go meal prep breakfast, or a great finger food for brunch or Easter gatherings. They’re so cute that they’re sure to impress any guest!

Mini broccoli cheddar quiches in a muffin tin.

Can I Make Them Ahead?

These little quiches are definitely best right after baking, although I still enjoyed the leftovers quite a bit. If I were making them for guests, I would definitely make them on the same day as serving. If I were making them for myself, I’d happily eat the leftovers over the span of a few days. The biggest change is that the crust softens as it is stored in the refrigerator. They’ll probably be good for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Mini Quiches?

I did test a couple of the quiches to see if they held up to freezing (mostly for meal prep purposes). I microwaved one straight from the freezer without thawing for one minute and it came out piping hot and delicious, but with a very soft crust. I allowed the second quiche to thaw in the refrigerator over night and then microwaved until warm. That method turned out about the same as the one microwaved straight from the freezer.

Try Different Flavors

You can try swapping out the broccoli and cheddar with different flavor combinations. Here are some other ingredients you can try:

  • Sausage (browned)
  • Ham
  • Onion (sautéed)
  • Bell pepper (sautéed)
  • Bacon
  • Spinach (sautéed)
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Swiss cheese
  • Gruyere
  • Smoked mozzarella
  • Parmesan
Side view of a mini broccoli cheddar quiche cut in half.
mini broccoli cheddar quiches in a muffin tin.

Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches

Impress your guests with the perfect little mini broccoli cheddar quiches. Great for Easter, Mother's Day, or any brunch gathering.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.74 recipe / $0.40 each
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 quiches
Calories 213kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 8 Tbsp butter, room temperature $0.80
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature $0.58
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.07

Filling

  • 2 large eggs $0.46
  • 1/2 cup milk $0.10
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.44
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets, thawed $1.08
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded $0.58

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese to a bowl. Use a mixer to whip them together until evenly combined.
  • Begin stirring in the flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until a dough forms. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (begin by dividing into four pieces, then divide each quarter into three equal-sized pieces). Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then drop each one into the well of a muffin tin. Use your fingers to press the dough down into the center and up the sides of the wells (see step by step photos below for more help).
  • Finely chop the thawed broccoli florets (about 1.5 cups once chopped). Shred the cheddar cheese (about 1 cup shredded). Add the broccoli and cheddar to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
  • Divide the broccoli cheddar mixture between the twelve mini pie crusts. The liquid egg mixture will not fully submerge the broccoli and cheddar in the crusts, but it will puff up and fill the crust once baked.
  • Bake the mini quiches in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges.
  • Carefully transfer the baked quiches to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature within two hours of baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1mini quiche | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 259mg | Fiber: 1g
Mini broccoli cheddar quiches on a wire cooling rack.

How to Make Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches – Step by Step Photos

Butter and cream cheese in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add 8 Tbsp room temperature butter and 4oz. room temperature cream cheese to a bowl.

whipped butter and cream cheese in a bowl.

Use a mixer to whip the butter and cream cheese together until well combined.

Finished quiche dough after flour is added.

Begin stirring in all-purpose flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until it forms a dough (it should be similar in texture to playdough). You’ll need to add about 1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour total.

Dough being pressed into the muffin tin

Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. To do this, divide the dough into four equal-sized pieces first. From there, divide each quarater into three equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them into the wells of a muffin tin. Use your fingers to press the dough down and up the sides of the muffin tin wells. Make sure to get down into the corners of the well where a lot of the dough can accumulate and get too thick.

eggs, cheese, and milk in a bowl with a whisk.

Whisk together 2 large eggs, ½ cup milk, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl.

Chopped broccoli on a cutting board.

Finely chop ½ lb. thawed frozen broccoli florets. You’ll want about 1.5 cups once chopped.

Broccoli and cheddar added to egg mixture.

Add the chopped broccoli and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

broccoli cheddar mixture being portioned into muffin tin.

Divide the mixture among the twelve mini pie crusts.

broccoli cheddar quiches in the muffin tin ready to bake.

Don’t worry if the liquid egg and milk mixture does not come all the way to the top of the broccoli and cheddar. The egg will puff up and surround the broccoli as they bake. Just try to get a fairly even amount in each one.

Baked broccoli cheddar quiches in the muffin tin.

Bake the broccoli cheddar quiches in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 35 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown around the edges.

Mini broccoli cheddar quiches on a wire cooling rack.

Transfer the mini quiches to a wire rack to cool, then serve. The quiches should just pop right out of the muffin tin if you insert a butter knife between the tin and the side of the quiche. Just be gentle, as they will be slightly soft when hot.

broccoli cheddar quiches on a wire cooling rack, some stacked

Enjoy warm, or at room temperature within two hours of baking. Or, store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

The post Mini Broccoli Cheddar Quiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Vegetable Stir Fry

Vegetable stir fry is a quick and easy option for dinner, plus it’s super flexible and a great way to use up leftovers from your fridge!

The post Easy Vegetable Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We love a good “catch-all” recipe here at Budget Bytes, and a simple vegetable stir fry is the perfect example of that. Whether you’re using up leftover vegetables from your freezer or using a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, a quick and easy vegetable stir fry is an easy solution for dinner. In addition to the very simple version below, I’ve got plenty of ideas for add-ins and flavor modifications in case you want to switch it up!

Vegetable stir fry in a skillet against a blue background

What Vegetables are Good for Stir Fry?

It’s important to get a variety of colors and textures when you make a vegetable stir fry. I chose to use onions, mushrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots to provide that variety, but here are some other vegetables that are great in stir fry:

  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Baby corn
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Green onion
  • Sweet peas
  • Spinach

Other Stir Fry Add-ins

In addition to vegetables, you can add all sorts of other ingredients, like:

  • Chicken, beef, or pork
  • Shrimp
  • Tofu
  • Noodles
  • Scrambled egg
  • Peanuts or cashews

Customize the Sauce

I’ve included a very basic brown stir fry sauce below, but there are so many options for customizing the sauce to fit your taste buds. Here are some options:

  • Make it spicy: add a tablespoon or so of sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or gochujang
  • Make it extra rich: stir in a couple tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • Make it sweet and tangy: stir in a couple tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • Give it a tropical twist: use pineapple juice instead of water (add a little less brown sugar)

The Trick to Good Stir Fry at Home

There are two important tips for making stir fry at home:

1) Use a big wok or skillet and high heat. If your pan is too small there won’t be enough surface area for the steam to evaporate and the vegetables will get soupy. Likewise, if the heat isn’t high enough the steam will not evaporate fast enough and the vegetables will also get soupy.

2) Don’t overcook the vegetables. You want the vegetables to just be tender-crisp and vibrantly colored. You can always cook them a little longer once the sauce is added at the end, but if you cook them too long in the first steps you’ll end up with limp vegetables that are drab color.

Two bowls with vegetable stir fry and rice
close up of stir fry vegetables from above.

Easy Vegetable Stir Fry

Vegetable stir fry is a quick and easy option for dinner, plus it's super flexible and a great way to use up leftovers from your fridge!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Total Cost $9.06 recipe / $2.27 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 209kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce $0.24
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch $0.03

Vegetables*

  • 3/4 lb. broccoli $1.34
  • 2 carrots $0.33
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.69
  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas $2.99
  • 1 small onion $0.28
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.16
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.06

Instructions

  • Make the stir fry sauce first. Combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.
  • Chop the vegetables into similar-sized pieces. It's up to you whether you slice, dice, or cut into any other shape you prefer.
  • Add the cooking oil to a very large skillet or wok. Heat over medium-high. When the pan and oil are very hot (but not smoking), add the hardest vegetables first: carrots and broccoli. Cook and stir for about a minute, or just until the broccoli begins to turn bright green.
  • Next, add the mushrooms and sugar snap peas. Continue to cook and stir for a minute or two more, or just until the mushrooms begin to soften.
  • Finally, add the softest vegetables, bell pepper and onion. Continue to cook and stir just until the onion begins to soften.
  • Give the stir fry sauce another brief stir, then pour it over the vegetables. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce begins to simmer, at which point it will thicken and turn glossy. Remove the vegetables from the heat, or continue to cook until they are to your desired doneness.
  • Top the stir fry with sesame seeds and serve!

Notes

*You can use any mix of vegetables you like. You’ll need about 8 cups once chopped.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 869mg | Fiber: 6g
close up of stir fry vegetables from above.

How to Make Vegetable Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

stir fry sauce being whisked in a white bowl

Make the stir fry sauce first so the flavors have a little time to blend and the sauce is ready to go when you need it. Vegetable stir fry is a fast process, so you’ve got to be ready! Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then set aside.

Whole vegetables on a cutting board.

For my stir fry mix, I used 1 small yellow onion, ½ lb. broccoli, 2 carrots, 8oz. mushrooms, and 8oz. sugar snap peas. You can use any mix of vegetables you’d like, just try to get a good variety of colors and textures. You’ll want about 8 cups once chopped.

Chopped vegetables on the cutting board

Chop the vegetables into similar sized pieces. Since carrots take so long to soften, it was okay to cut them much smaller than the rest.

Sautéed broccoli and carrots in the skillet first.

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a very large skillet or wok. Heat over medium-high until the pan is very hot. Once hot, add the hardest vegetables first (or the vegetables that take the longest to soften), in this case, it was carrots and broccoli. Stir briskly for about one minute, or just until you start to see the color of the broccoli turn bright green. They will continue to cook as you add more vegetables.

Mushrooms and peas added to the skillet.

Next, add the vegetables that soften semi-quickly, in this case, the mushrooms and sugar snap peas. Again, stir briskly and cook only for about 1-2 minutes, or just until you see the mushrooms begin to soften. They will continue to cook further as you add more vegetables.

peppers and onions added to the skillet.

Lastly, add your softest vegetables, in this case, the onion and bell pepper. Stir and cook just for one minute more, or just until the onions begin to soften. They will continue to cook and soften after you add the sauce.

stir fry sauce being poured over the vegetables in the skillet.

Give the stir fry sauce a quick stir to recombine, then pour the sauce over the vegetables in the skillet. Stir and cook until the sauce begins to simmer, at which point it will thicken and turn glossy. Remove the skillet from the heat, or continue to cook until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Finished stir fry in the skillet

Top the stir fry with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Vegetable stir fry in the skillet against a blue background.

Try These Other Stir Fry Recipes:

The post Easy Vegetable Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Thai Oyster Mushroom Noodle Stir Fry

It is an easy aromatic Thai noodle stir fry with sauteed oyster mushrooms, tofu, par-boiled broccoli, and rice noodles. Thai food is well-known for its spiciness, although it’s not always hot to taste. We promise you that this oyster mushroom sti…

It is an easy aromatic Thai noodle stir fry with sauteed oyster mushrooms, tofu, par-boiled broccoli, and rice noodles. Thai food is well-known for its spiciness, although it’s not always hot to taste. We promise you that this oyster mushroom stir fry dish is better with a bit of a kick. If you love aromatic...

Read More

The post Thai Oyster Mushroom Noodle Stir Fry appeared first on My Pure Plants.

The 40 Best Broccoli & Friends Recipes We Know

We’re crowning broccoli (pun intended) the MVP of green vegetables—in springtime and all the time. You’ve seen it take the stage as an attention-grabbing side dish; it often mingles with cheddar for creamy soups and crunchy casseroles; and it tends to …

We’re crowning broccoli (pun intended) the MVP of green vegetables—in springtime and all the time. You’ve seen it take the stage as an attention-grabbing side dish; it often mingles with cheddar for creamy soups and crunchy casseroles; and it tends to make its way into all manner of pasta dishes, both hot and cold.

You'll notice that a few of these recipes call for broccolini (aka baby broccoli or Chinese broccoli, which has a sweeter flavor and thinner form than regular broccoli) or broccoli rabe (aka rapini, which is a bitter cousin to broccoli in the mustard family). Broccolini and broccoli rabe look very similar but taste pretty different, so keep an eye out for which one you're grabbing from the store or market before cooking. In general, you can swap in one for the other—or regular ol' broccoli for either—in any of these recipes, but just know that the flavor might be slightly different.

Read More >>

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Roasted broccoli and cauliflower is an irresistibly easy side dish! Here’s how to roast the two vegetables to perfection. When…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Roasted broccoli and cauliflower is an irresistibly easy side dish! Here’s how to roast the two vegetables to perfection.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

When you’re not sure what vegetable to roast…try two. Try this Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower! Our favorite side dishes for weeknights are Roasted Broccoli and Roasted Cauliflower, so why not combine them? Honestly, we weren’t sure how the bake time would turn out, or if they’d both get browned and crisp tender (since cauliflower usually takes longer than broccoli). Turns out, it works perfectly! Here’s what to do:

Tips to roasted broccoli and cauliflower

So you’ve roasted broccoli and cauliflower separately but never together? They work beautifully together. While our roasted cauliflower recipe takes about 30 to 35 minutes, it actually works in about 25 minutes with broccoli. Here are a few tips:

  • Use 4 cups each broccoli and cauliflower. Or use whatever mix you have on hand! This is the maximum quantity that fits on one baking sheet. If you have more than that, use two baking sheets: you don’t want to stack the vegetables or they will steam, not roast.
  • Add olive oil, garlic powder and salt. See the recipe below for the quantities!
  • Roast 20 to 25 minutes until browned. If not browned after this time, roast a bit longer until crisp tender and browned.
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Cut medium florets with long stems

When it comes to roasted broccoli and cauliflower, you can cut the florets any way you like. But here’s what we think the best look is: cut medium florets that have longer stems! That avoids the stubby tree look and makes the broccoli and cauliflower look more elegant. Here’s how we cut broccoli:

  • Cut off the floret right where its stem meets the larger stalk. This leaves the stem long (instead of making stubby florets).
  • Separate any very large florets. Cut the base of the stem of any large florets in half, then pull the floret apart with your fingers or slice it apart. Try to make the florets as similar in size as possible.

Flavor variations and add-ins

The sky’s the limit when it comes to roasted broccoli and cauliflower! You can serve them up as is, or add one of these other flavor options:

  • Lemon zest adds brightness
  • Panko bread crumbs add a crunch
  • Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese add a savory flair
  • Herbs like thyme, oregano, dill or basil add freshness
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

More roasted vegetables

When it comes to side dishes, roasted vegetables are king! Here are some of our favorite go-to methods:

This roasted broccoli and cauliflower recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower


Description

Roasted broccoli and cauliflower is an irresistibly easy side dish! Here’s how to roast the two vegetables to perfection.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound or 2 crowns broccoli)
  • 4 cups cauliflower (from 1 small head)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the broccoli into medium-sized florets, leaving a good amount of the stem for a nice shape. Chop the cauliflower into florets. Mix both with the olive oil, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
  3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and slightly browned (no need to stir!). Roast a few more minutes if not yet browned. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: Roasted broccoli and cauliflower

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How to Store Broccoli So It Actually Stays Crisp

A firm, vibrant head of broccoli is a thing of beauty. Just looking at it in my fridge makes me feel like my hair is shinier, skin is glowier, and my gut is healthier. (That’s how vegetable consumption works, right?). But a limp bunch of fresh broccoli is me on my worst day—dull, tangled hair, dry skin, stained grey sweatsuit, the whole nine yards. Which is to say, no one should have to interact with sad, soft broccoli. 

So how do you avoid the latter? It’s as simple as storing fresh broccoli properly! This means that when you bring fresh broccoli home from the farmers’ market or grocery store, don’t just throw it in the back of your fridge, no matter how tired and desperate you are to just collapse on the couch and turn on Netflix. Treat broccoli like a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent from a secret admirer. Fill a glass or small pitcher with ice water and place the entire stalk of broccoli in the water. There’s no need to cover it—broccoli requires air circulation so that it can breathe, so let it all hang out.

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A firm, vibrant head of broccoli is a thing of beauty. Just looking at it in my fridge makes me feel like my hair is shinier, skin is glowier, and my gut is healthier. (That’s how vegetable consumption works, right?). But a limp bunch of fresh broccoli is me on my worst day—dull, tangled hair, dry skin, stained grey sweatsuit, the whole nine yards. Which is to say, no one should have to interact with sad, soft broccoli. 

So how do you avoid the latter? It’s as simple as storing fresh broccoli properly! This means that when you bring fresh broccoli home from the farmers’ market or grocery store, don’t just throw it in the back of your fridge, no matter how tired and desperate you are to just collapse on the couch and turn on Netflix. Treat broccoli like a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent from a secret admirer. Fill a glass or small pitcher with ice water and place the entire stalk of broccoli in the water. There’s no need to cover it—broccoli requires air circulation so that it can breathe, so let it all hang out.

Read More >>

Perfect Roasted Broccoli with Vegan Parmesan

It’s broccoli time, friends! And we think we may have found the best way to prepare it! This cheesy, savory roasted broccoli is crispy on the edges but tender on the inside, making it easier to chew and digest. It’s so good we were eating it right off …

Perfect Roasted Broccoli with Vegan Parmesan

It’s broccoli time, friends! And we think we may have found the best way to prepare it! This cheesy, savory roasted broccoli is crispy on the edges but tender on the inside, making it easier to chew and digest. It’s so good we were eating it right off the pan!

It’s quick & easy to prepare and the perfect salty side to enjoy with all your favorite savory and creamy mains (salmon, stew, and beyond!).

Perfect Roasted Broccoli with Vegan Parmesan from Minimalist Baker →

The Creamiest Broccoli Shells and Cheese.

These broccoli shells and cheese are better than any boxed version! Super creamy, cheesy pasta shells tossed with broccoli florets. It’s the most wonderful meal! Hello new favorite mac and cheese! These are the creamiest shells and cheese that rival the boxed version – the one that is SO creamy you don’t think you can […]

The post The Creamiest Broccoli Shells and Cheese. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These broccoli shells and cheese are better than any boxed version! Super creamy, cheesy pasta shells tossed with broccoli florets. It’s the most wonderful meal!

Hello new favorite mac and cheese!

broccoli shells and cheese

These are the creamiest shells and cheese that rival the boxed version – the one that is SO creamy you don’t think you can beat it!

Here we are. We’re going to beat it!

up close broccoli shells and cheese

So here’s the funny thing about making mac and cheese from scratch. Specially, mac and cheese like this, which really resembled the creamy boxed kind, in a good way.

The kids still don’t always love it!

One of you told me on instagram years ago that kids tend enjoy boxed mac and cheese and things like pancakes from a box or store-bought cookies because they are always consistently the same. There is no change and they are exactly the same every.single.time.

I feel this and it made so much sense to me!

pot of pasta and broccoli

So I’ve always been on a mission to create a mac and cheese the resembles the boxed version we love.

broccoli shells and cheese

Yes, this may sound crazy! Mother Lovett made amazing baked mac and cheese – I also have tons of recipes for baked and stovetop mac and cheese varieties. They are all really good.

But this one takes the cake. Seriously. It’s so cheesy and creamy and perfect. 

broccoli shells and cheese

Ever since I fell in love with broccoli, it’s been my go-to add in for stovetop mac and cheese. It’s just so simple and the flavor is incredible. When I did baby led weaning with the kids, broccoli was one of their first foods. I added it to their mac and cheese before they knew mac and cheese without broccoli. It’s always been a staple! 

broccoli shells and cheese

How the broccoli shells and cheese goes down:

  • I boil the water for the pasta, then toss the broccoli in first. Just for a minute or so to blanch it! I then remove it and throw it in ice water to keep that gorgeous green color.
  • Throw the pasta into that same water! Boom, easy as that. The broccoli gives the pasta water a little flavor. Again, in a good way. I promise. It’s a little broccoli-ish. Ha!
  • While this is happening, I make a little cheese sauce in another pan. I know, it’s nothing new. And I probably have 50 recipes for cheese sauces like this on the blog. I do some cream and milk, a little cream cheese, and tons of freshly grated cheddar. It MUST be freshly grated!! This is what makes it extra creamy. 
  • The cheese sauce may seem slightly thinner than normal, but this is what you want. It keeps the mixture so super creamy. Just like the good boxed version. It will also thicken as it sits and gets cooler.
  • Then I toss the entire thing together and SERVE. Serve it right away for maximum creaminess. The good news is that leftovers are good too – just not as super creamy. 

broccoli shells and cheese

Now of course, you know we adore roasted broccoli. You could always just roast some on the side and toss it in here. Kind of like how I do with this skillet ricotta pasta! 

You could also add anything else you love here. Crispy onions? Chopped up chicken? Anything! Make it a clean-out-the-fridge meal. You know I love those. I talk about them constantly.

broccoli shells and cheese

This dish is absolute PERFECTION. Take your time with the cheese sauce so it’s extra smooth and creamy.

It tastes so nostalgically wonderful – I can promise it will be a huge hit! (more…)

The post The Creamiest Broccoli Shells and Cheese. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.