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Homemade Mac n Cheese

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 rotini with ham and broccoli

Cheesy Broccoli and Ham Rotini

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

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.


  • 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


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in the pasta and heavy cream, followed by the broccoli. Cook for 1 additional minute to reheat the pasta and broccoli. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 432Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 86mgSodium 681mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 19g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

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

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  • 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


Tuesday 5th of February 2013

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

Christine Halverson

Monday 20th of December 2010

looks delicious.

Virginia from Lady V dZine

Friday 17th of December 2010

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.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

Wednesday 15th of December 2010

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

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

Tuesday 14th of December 2010

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!

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