Who has two thumbs and LOVES mac and cheese? This girl! I also really just love cheese in general, and what’s funny about that is that when I was in high school, I would always tell a friend of mine that I did not like cheese. In reality, I love it, I just have particular types that I dislike… like gorgonzola, blue, and goat cheese. Sorry y’all.
This is one of the most delicious and easy recipes I’ve played with, because it’s a homemade cheese sauce with boiled orzo pasta and broccoli. I have a secret too: I boil the broccoli in the SAME pot as the orzo cooks! *gasp* It’s just easier this way, and when it’s all mixed together, the broccoli chunks break down and coat the pasta in a light green colors… it’s good I swear 🙂
The cheese sauce is made with a Roux: a simple mixture of butter and flour with simmered milk. I take three tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of cassava flour and whisk together until its fully combined with no lumps. Then I add in milk and chicken stock and simmer until the liquid becomes a bit thick. I turn the heat off and pour in all the cheese. I used mild cheddar for this. Sprinkle salt and pepper into the mix and voila, you have a cheese sauce!
For the pasta, I made regular orzo and boiled as per package instructions. I threw in the broccoli at the same time so both ingredients finished simultaneously. I drained in a strainer and added back to the pot. I poured the cheese sauce into the orzo and broccoli and stirred. At the last second I decided to add another cup of cheese because #yolo and the results were a deliciously cheesy, creamy, pot of lovely orzo and broccoli. Nomaste!
Cheesy Orzo and Broccoli
- 1 pkg orzo
- 1 16oz bag sharp or mild cheddar cheese
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk or creamer
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth
In a small sauté pan, heat and melt butter. When butter is melted, add in the flour and whisk until blended.
Add in the milk and chicken stock. Bring to a rolling boil and stir frequently. Keep at this heat for 5-7 minutes.
Turn heat off and add in cheese. Stir to blend and melt. Add in salt and pepper to taste
Orzo and Broccoli
In a 3-4 quart pot, fill the water 3/4 of the way and heat on high. Let water boil and add salt.
Add in the orzo and broccoli and cook together until al dente (around 8-9 minutes). Drain in a strainer in the sink and add back into the pot.
Layer in the cheese sauce and stir until fully coated. Add in 1/2 cup more of cheddar and mix. Serve immediately.