The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.
Broccoli cheddar soup meets mac and cheese in this comforting pasta dish that comes together in one pan in under 30 minutes. Simmering the orzo in chicken broth and whole milk builds the foundation for the shredded cheese, resulting in a creamy sauce made without a roux.
This recipe calls for Heinen’s mac & cheese blend, a medley of aged cheddar, Havarti and baby Swiss cheeses that you can find in Heinen’s Specialty Cheese Department. It’s the perfect combination of bold and mild cheeses that together create a balanced cheesy pasta.
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 1 Tbsp. Heinen's unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¾ cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 lb. orzo pasta
- 3 - 4 cups Heinen’s low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 4 cups bite-size broccoli florets
- Black pepper
- 2 ½ cups (about 10 oz.) Heinen’s mac & cheese blend (located in the Specialty Cheese Department) or Heinen’s New York extra sharp cheddar, shredded
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, deep (3-4” deep) skillet over medium heat.
- Once the butter melts, add the onion and cook until soft but not brown, about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, oregano, cayenne pepper and orzo. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Pour in 3 cups of the broth, milk, salt and broccoli. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Continue to simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the orzo is tender and creamy. If the chicken broth is absorbing before the orzo is fully cooked, add additional broth as needed, ½ cup at a time.
- Turn off the heat. Season the orzo to taste with more salt and black pepper, then fold in 2 cups of the cheese.
- Top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese and cover for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Serve topped with more freshly cracked black pepper, if desired.