Hello! It's that time of year again when some of us are scrambling to come up with meatless meals that won't bore the family. Fish sandwiches, mac n cheese, tuna casserole...they've been done to death by now. And there's still almost a month of Fridays left to meatless meal planning! Uh oh.
How about a little change up that turns the same old mac & cheese into an alfredo-style mushroom and broccoli meatless meal? One that will be a brand new Friday family fave?
Instead of cheddar, a sauce of smooth, creamy fontina, subtle smoked gouda and a little parmigiana regianno set off with a sweet touch of garlic, LOTS of earthy mushrooms and just a little bright green broccoli. Baked in a gratin dish until the top is golden, just a simple salad and some good bread makes a Meatless Friday (OR Monday!) into a dinner sure to be repeated even when it isn't Lent.
Mushroom Broccoli Alfredo Mac n Cheese
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups fontina cheese, shredded - approx. 1/2 lb.
- 2 cups smoked gouda cheese, shredded - approx. 1/2 lb.
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente, drained - Gluten-free penne to make this GF, my fave is BiAglut!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced - I like the package of baby bellas, oyster and shitakes!
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
Mix the cheeses together in a large bowl until well combined. Reserve a cup of the mixed cheeses. In a saucepan, melt 3 T. butter, add the cornstarch and cook for a minute. Gradually whisk the milk into the cornstarch mixture. When the sauce has thickened, gradually add the bowl of grated cheeses, constantly whisking until the sauce is smooth. Set aside.
In a skillet, melt 2 T. butter and add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms. Stir until the garlic is translucent and the mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
Have the cooked pasta waiting in a large bowl. Pour the cheese sauce over the top, add the mushroom mixture and the broccoli florets. Mix well and pour into a large, buttered gratin dish. Top with the reserved cheeses.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.
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