Whole Grain Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (2024)



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Rita Moran

I know flour is the traditional thickener for macaroni and cheese, but I use eggs instead to increase the protein and decrease the carbs. This works best if you drain the pasta (and I add the broccoli to the pasta and cook them together) add the rest of the ingredients (substituting two or three eggs for the flour) and cook over low heat until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. If you like a nice brown crusty version, bake it. If not, the stovetop version is great.


Good recipe, but yields 6? 6 what? Mice?
I doubled the pasta and me and my two teen boys finished the whole thing without a problem.
I would say it yields 2, not 6.
I used cayenne instead of nutmeg to give a different flavor profile and it was good.


I like the idea of using eggs rather than flour but how do you incorporate the eggs into the recipe? You cook the shallots in the saucepan and then crack 3 eggs and cook and then add milk, etc? Would you mind explaining this part. Thanks.

Jessica Gabrielsen

After reading all of the comments, I made the following changes.Used 2 1/4 cups of milk instead of 3, 1 onion instead of a shallot, 2 tbsp of butter to saute instead of oilStarted heating milk while cooking onionAdded the flour and cooked for a couple of min., then added milk, after sauce thickened, added cheddar cheese to the sauce.Cooked pasta for a few min. then threw in the broccoli. drained all at once and added sauce on top. Sprinkled with the parm and added bread crumbs.


This is delish. I added carmelized onions. I used cheddar cheese to appeal to some younger palates but would definitely use Gruyere for adults only. Or maybe a combo.


I used apple-smoked gruyere and caramelized a small onion (rather than using the shallot), and I think that made a big difference in giving this some extra "oomph". I added the gruyere to the pasta+broccoli and reserved the parmesan to sprinkle on top. Going to so many steps to drain the broccoli is completely unnecessary and so is straining the béchamel. Good grief, just dump it in there. I agree, the béchamel did not thicken as I expected but it worked fine.


The béchamel sauce never thickened, even after 30 minutes of stirring. I decided to use it anyway and it came out fine. If I make it again I will use more cheese for a deeper flavor.

Marilyn Armbruster

I've made this twice and found it rather bland for our tastes. The second time, I reduced the amount of milk to 2 cups and used onion instead of shallots. Also added some mustard, didn't add nutmeg and topped it with some panko crumbs. Better but still needs some oomph


I don't know how Rita would do it but I would add the milk first and heat it, then use some to temper the eggs. Otherwise you may end up with pieces of scrambled eggs.


I agree--I didn't strain my bechamel, either, and I just drained the broccoli on top of the pasta. Apple-smoked gruyere sounds like a great idea. I, too, used a small onion rather than a shallot, and caramelizing it would have made a difference, I think. I, too, thought about reserving the parmesan to sprinkle on top, and wish now that I had.

Max D.

The sauce didn't thicken as I had hoped, but the final results were good. I added a 1/2 broccoli and 1/2 cauliflower mix.

I brought this to a potluck, and everyone enjoyed it.


You need 1 Tbl of flour per cup of milk for a béchamel sauce to thicken properly. Straining the sauce is totally unnecessary, as is sifting the flour before hand. If you steam the broccoli and then set it aside uncovered to cool you won’t have to go through all that draining nonsense.


The Bechamel did not thicken like I expected. I added about 1/3 of a cup of flour (slowly) and that helped significantly. Also, I added extra sharp cheddar cheese instead of gruyere, and sprinkled about 1/4 of Italian bread crumbs on top for extra flavor (and salt).

It was delicious. I would make it again.


Great basic recipe. I have had good results changing the cheeses. Adding a sharp cheddar, or pepper jack changes things up nicely. Also, used new Jacobsen garlic salt once,and a truffle salt another time. Lovely.


This recipe would also be good with other greens such as asparagus or simply fresh green peas.


Used cayenne, paprika and mustard in addition to nutmeg in the sauce. Added the milk gradually to the flour. I also cooked the broccoli with the pasta, adding it to the pot for the last 3 minutes of the pasta boiling and straining and rinsing them in cold water together.


This was pretty delicious once I integrated everyones suggestions:- caramelized the onion - added 1.5 tb of flour and heated up 2 cups of milk - slowly added the milk to the rue so it thickened- added 1.5 tsp of mustard powder 1 tsp of Dijon mustard. Also used sweet and smokey paprika since I didn't have nutmeg- added the cheese to the bechamel to thicken it- cooked the broccoli with the pasta - added spinach for a little more green- topped with parm and baked for 15 min


We loved this. I made it as directed in the recipe and it turned out great. The cheese really thickens the sauce if you’re worried about the bechamel. The only adjustment I needed was to use a larger casserole dish. I looked at my pile of broccoli and pasta, looked at my 2 quart dish, and said, yeah let’s use something bigger. Will make this again!


This is my new go-to Mac and cheese recipe. I measured from the heart (more shallot, used white pepper, doubled the whole recipe to share with neighbors) and when all was said and done, didn't even want to bake it! To me, it is perfect right off the stove. A really great comfort dish that travels well to share with sick or grieving loved ones.


Made exactly as written. Didn’t have as much flavor as I expected. Would make again but try to add more spices.


Title is misleading. In 2014 it was called "Whole Grain Pasta, Broccoli and Cheese". Now retitled "Whole Grain Macaroni and Cheese"? I guess NYT Food Editor had nothing to do one day ;~) Recipe is unchanged - still whole grain pasta NOT macaroni and it has broccoli.My wife made it once, but the second time she used 15oz of ricotta instead of the bechamel. IMO tastes better and easier to make.


I made with suggestions of others. I used 2 cups of warmed milk and some dried mustard and hot sauce. I made it in a small Dutch oven. It was tasty and would make again.


Like many others I found 3 cups of milk to be far too much for this recipe. I reduced it to 2 cups and started the roux with butter instead of olive oil. Making the bechamel, I did not add all the milk at once as instructed but instead added a splash at a time while whisking. I had no issues with thickening using this method. Finally, to the nutmeg I also added some paprika and mustard powder. It was a hit!

Monica Roberts

I also found it bland, so this time I added a jalepeno with the shallot. After they softened, I added one clove garlic minced. I also used butter instead of oil and increased the gruyere by an additional 1/2 cup. Still finding the bechemal bland, I add a 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder and 2 tablespoons of dry sherry. Much better. I also used 12 oz of pasta.

bee g

Increased the flour and butter to 3tbs each to work with 3 cups 2% milk for bechamel. No shallot. Chopped & sauteed 1 large bunch swiss chard (instead of broccoli because that's what we had). Used a pinch of cayenne rather than nutmeg in bechamel. 1/2 pound cavatappi pasta. Increased cheese to scant cup gruyere and full cup grated sharp cheddar. Topped with whole wheat panko mixed with grated parm and dotted with butter. Was rich and sinful but excellent. 6 servings out of it.

Susan B.

The bechamel did not seem to thicken and it at first threatened to be soupy, but by letting it "coast" after baking, the dish turned out fine. Also, since I was unable to find kosher gruyere, I substituted emmental.


I liked this. It was a nice change from the usual cheddar-based macs that I usually make. Based on others' notes on blandness, I added 1/2 teaspoon of powdered Colman's mustard (I've never met a mac 'n cheese recipe that didn't benefit from some powdered mustard). I used 3 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal salt and a generous amount of fresh pepper. My bechamel thickened nicely. Dusted the top with panko before baking. Very good.

sarah blair

Would have been fine if we had not expected Mac and cheese but broccoli with cheese sauce. And. Fine. Not great. Don’t need to try it again.

sarah blair

Lesson learned-always read the comments before not after you’ve been whisking the bechamel for 30 minutes and it hasn’t thickened. At all. Soooooo, will see.


You need 1 Tbl of flour per cup of milk for a béchamel sauce to thicken properly. Straining the sauce is totally unnecessary, as is sifting the flour before hand. If you steam the broccoli and then set it aside uncovered to cool you won’t have to go through all that draining nonsense.

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Whole Grain Macaroni and Cheese Recipe (2024)
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