I threw this meal together the other night because I needed a quick meal that used up the left over ham I had in the fridge. It's just a basic macaroni and cheese dish with added ham and broccoli, but it's my HEALTHIER version that is also baked in the oven. This made a lot so you can cut the recipe in half if you want to. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
Baked Ham and Cheese Pasta with Broccoli
1- 13.25 oz pkg whole wheat rotini pasta, cooked al-dente
2 full cups cooked diced ham
1- 12 oz pkg frozen broccoli, cooked
6 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup flour (plus more, if needed)
3 1/2 cups 1% milk
6 oz 2% milk reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated reduced fat parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta to package directions to "al-dente", drain. Cook broccoli until done, whatever method is preferred by you (microwave or stove top), drain. Melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, mix well and cook for 1 minute to create roux. Gradually add milk to roux to form a thickened sauce (add more flour if needed to desired thickness), also add the parsley and salt/pepper, to taste, to roux (I started with a 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and then added more if I desired). Remove from heat. Add cheddar cheese and parmesan to roux and mix well until all melted.
Add pasta, ham and broccoli back to pot used to boil pasta in. Add the cheese mixture and stir gently until well combined. Pour pasta mixture into a 9x13 pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese on top.
Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbling. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!