Chef Jeff's Corner

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Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese

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The recipe of this week comes from Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters for Kids book. We made this recipe  in our Nova Eisenhower class. Now, you can taste what we do in our Cooking Matters classes!

Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese

Serves 16, 1/2 cup per serving

Prep time: 20 minutes*cook time: 20 minutes


1 small head broccoli (¾ pound)
6 ounces low-fat sharp cheddar or
Monterrey Jack cheese
12 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1½ cups nonfat milk
1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons light cream cheese


Box grater • Colander • Cutting
board • Fork • Large pot • Measuring
cups • Measuring spoons •
Microwave-safe bowl • Rubber
spatula • Sharp knife • Small pot
with lid


= Have kids help with the steps marked with the “little helping hand”!
1. Rinse and chop broccoli.
2. Grate cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add broccoli and just enough water to cover half
way. Heat in microwave until bright green and tender, about 6–8 minutes.
4. Cook pasta following package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside.
While pasta is cooking, make cheese sauce.
5. In a small pot over medium heat, heat milk. When hot, remove from heat.
Cover to keep warm.
6. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour. Whisk with a fork,
stirring constantly.
7. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, until sauce
thickens. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
8. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cream cheese, grated cheese, and broccoli.
Stir until grated cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
9. Add macaroni to cheese sauce. Stir to coat.

mac & cheese label

Chef’s Notes
•• Use any veggies you like. Try using 1½ cups chopped tomatoes, steamed
cauliflower, or cooked peas or spinach instead of broccoli.
•• For a main-dish version, in step 8 add 1 (12-ounce) can tuna, packed in water,
drained. Because this will count for only 10.4 servings for crediting purposes, you
would need to add almost 2 more ounces of low-fat cheese. Or, add 12 ounces
cubed and cooked chicken or turkey pieces and skip the extra cheese.
•• For extra flavor, add ½ teaspoon dried thyme or any herbs and spices you like. Mix
into the sauce with the salt and pepper.
•• Use other whole wheat pasta, like penne or shells, instead of macaroni. Confirm
quantity needed in the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs (USDA) for
crediting purposes.
•• Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.


Goatley, Chef Peter. (2012). Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese. In Share Our Strength, Cooking Matters for Kids (p. 41).


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