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Oct 31, 2018 • by Gillian Bodnar, Alvernia University
One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

In the craziness of life it can feel like there is never really “time” to cook. Either it takes too long, or it requires too many dishes that need to be cleaned. What if there was a way to eliminate both of those problems, as well as going out and spending money at restaurants. Not only is going to the grocery store fun, it also budget friendly! For an affordable price you can get all your necessary ingredients for an easy go to meal!Something easy, affordable and delicious is ready to be cooked in your kitchen and that is  “One Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese”. The only things you need for this meal, besides ingredients, are eight dollars(that’s right, EIGHT dollars!), one large pot to cook on the stove, and 45 minutes of your time. The ingredients are as followed:1/2 lb frozen broccoli floret4 oz bacon8 oz cheddar cheese(shredded or block)1/2 cup evaporated milk1/2 tsp paprika(smoked paprika, preferred)1/2 tsp hot sauce1/2 tsp dijon mustard        1/4 tsp saltFor a smoother cooking process you will want to prepare the ingredients before you begin cooking. That includes, thawing the broccoli and cutting it into smaller pieces, slicing the bacon into small pieces, and shredding the cheese(This does not apply if the cheese is already shredded). Once these tasks are finished you are ready to begin cooking!Cooking Instructions1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Drain the pasta in a strainer and set it aside in strainer.2. Return the pot to the stove, making sure to put it on the back onto the same stovetop, add the small pieces of bacon, and cook over medium to medium-low heat until the bacon is brown and crispy (about 5 minutes, cook longer if you prefer crispy bacon). Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pot, make sure to leave the bacon grease in the pot!3. Add the evaporated milk, (smoked) paprika, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, and salt to the pot with the bacon grease. Stir to combine all ingredients and let the ingredients heat.4. Once the milk is hot, turn the heat to low and begin whisking in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time. Wait until the cheese is fully melted before adding the next handful. Once all of the cheese has been melted into the sauce, taste the cheese sauce and adjust the salt or hot sauce if desired.5. Return the cooked pasta, crispy bacon (crumble into smaller pieces if desired), and chopped broccoli to the pot with the cheese sauce. Stir to combine, serve hot and enjoy!In just 45 minutes you created a whole meal that has dairy, protein and daily serving of vegetables! This recipe was adapted from BudgetBytes.com, for more recipes head over to budgetbytes.com to save money and eat better!

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