Recipe Exchange: Homemade Mac n Cheese

Kid Friendly Recipes, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe Exchange | 18 comments

What do you think of when you’re asked to describe what “comfort food” means? I recently had to think about this a bit because Eric said that he had never heard the term prior to knowing me.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is the definition of comfort to me. I have fond memories of enjoying a bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese as a child and still love the cheesy, gooey pasta now as an adult. Though I do choose to fancy it up a bit with different cheese choices.

cheesy rotini with ham and broccoli

In this Cheesy Broccoli Ham and Rotini I’ve used sharp white cheddar and Gruyere cheese to add extra interest to the flavor of the sauce. This recipe is a great use of leftover Holiday ham. Add some broccoli and it’s a great one pot meal – a favorite of the many ways to use the Le Creuset French Ovens!

What is your favorite comfort food? I hope you’ll share it here for a chance to win a Le Creuset 5 quart French Oven – the perfect pot to cook your comfort food in. Check out Jamie’s delicious Beef Stew Recipe that she shared for this recipe exchange.

Cheesy Broccoli and Ham Rotini

Print Save Recipe


1 pound rotini
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-fat milk
4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
4 ounces gruyere, grated
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt, according to taste
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup diced ham
2 large crowns of broccoli, cut into florets


Cook pasta one minute less than package instructions. Drain and set aside. Steam the broccoli till tender crisp and set aside (you can also add it into the pasta water during the last 1-2 minutes of pasta cooking).

In a large French or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat till golden.

Slowly whisk in the milk while cooking over medium heat. Stir in the cheese, 4 ounces at a time, whisking until melted and creamy. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, pepper, and salt (if desired). Bring to a slow simmer, then stir in the ham and let cook until ham has heated through and flavors have developed, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and heavy cream, followed by the broccoli. Cook for 1 additional minute to reheat the pasta and broccoli. Serve immediately.

How To Participate

For a chance to win a 5 Quart Le Creuset French Oven:

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog about COMFORT FOOD.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Le Creuset.” in your blog post.
  3. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  4. Submit your post before Dec. 16, 11:59 AM. On Dec. 17, 12:00 AM the widget will switch to voting mode. Be sure to encourage your readers to vote for you and/or vote for your favorites.
  5. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prize will ship to US residents only.
  6. More detailed info, including buttons for your posts are available here.

le creuset giveaway

Link Up Your Recipes:

This Week’s Prize:

5 Quart Le Creuset French Oven (2 winners), provided by Le Creuset.

Recipe Theme Schedule:

We still have three weeks open for this Holiday season. If you would like to discuss scheduling a sponsored recipe exchange please contact Katie or Jamie to discuss availability and themes.

recipe exchange schedule

click image to enlarge

How To Promote Your Recipe:

Help us spread the word by letting your friends, family, and followers know about the contest. Email, Facebook, Tweet, Stumble…anything you want to do to promote this post is welcome.

  • Sample Tweet 1: Join @GoodLifeEats and @BakingAddiction for a Holiday Recipe Exchange. See how you can participate (and WIN) here: Pls RT
  • Sample Tweet 2: Enter COMFORT recipes in @GoodLifeEats & @BakingAddiction Recipe Exchange 4 chance @lecreuset 5 qt oven
  • Sample Tweet 3: Have a winning COMFORT recipe? Share in @GoodLifeEats & @BakingAddiction Recipe Exchange 4 chance @LECREUSET 5 QT
  • Sample Tweet 4: Vote 4 my COMFORT recipe in @GoodLifeEats & @BakingAddiction Recipe Exch so I can win @lecreuset prize

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Courtney - December 13, 2010 @ 5:06 am

    Mac and cheese is a definite comfort food. Looks amazing!


  • 2
    Pili - December 13, 2010 @ 5:58 am

    This mac & cheese sounds not only like awesome comfort food, but as a great complete all in one meal!


  • 3
    Heather (Heather's Dish) - December 13, 2010 @ 5:58 am

    i love this take on classic comfort food! it’s beautiful and easy!


  • 4
    Lisa - December 13, 2010 @ 5:59 am

    I agree Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Plus it’s a great source of calcium!


  • 5
    JulieD - December 13, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    Mac n cheese are definitely an awesome comfort food. Love your photos!


  • 6
    Christi B - December 13, 2010 @ 8:28 am

    Yep…Mac n cheese! How funny that the recipe I decided to do for this round is just that! Great minds think alike I guess, although your version is one I’m definitely gonna have to try!


  • 7
    Alison @ Ingredients Inc. - December 13, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    Love your macaroni and cheese with Gruyere and white cheddar. My comfort food is muffins so I hope that’s okay I shared that.. Happy holidays to you!


  • 8
    Marie Baars - December 13, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    MMMM I love homemade Mac and Cheese too!
    My husband also claims that he had never heard of the term “comfort food” before he met me. I thought it was a pretty universal term. Maybe its a woman thing.


  • 9
    Sues - December 13, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    These are so adorable… And SO much better than the typical mac and cheese! :)


  • 10
    Cookbook Queen - December 13, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    I love this recipe!!

    My son and husband HATE broccoli (weirdos) so I would have to omit it., unfortunately.

    This is definitely going to the top of my dinner list!!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — December 13th, 2010 @ 9:50 PM

      Do they like peas? Frozen peas would also be a good mix in instead of broccoli.

  • 11
    Linda - December 14, 2010 @ 6:31 am

    love this, but grilled cheeses also make great comfort food!


  • 12
    MC - December 14, 2010 @ 10:06 am

    During this busy busy season it is great to come home to comfort food, warm and satisfying is the key. Thanks for your great sounding recipe to try.


  • 13
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - December 14, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    Lovely dish! I love mac and cheese, and I’m always looking for new flavor ideas to keep it interesting. Love the addition of broccoli and ham!


  • 14
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets - December 15, 2010 @ 4:15 am

    Great photo and recipe. Love these events :) . Happy holidays!


  • 15
    Virginia from Lady V dZine - December 17, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    I lost my homemade mac n cheese recipe, and this one looks so yummy I am going to try it! Of course, if I expect my Hubs to eat it, I’ll leave out the green stuff. LOL.


  • 16
    Christine Halverson - December 20, 2010 @ 8:51 am

    looks delicious.


  • 17
    Ginny - February 05, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    Actually cooked this tonight.Hubby had seconds kid choked it down too.I thought it was yummy.Used 1/2 and 1/2 and a bit of water to make the 2 cups of liquid just had cheddar and it turned out fine. Thanks


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