Swiss Broccoli Mac & Cheese

One of the oldest recipes on TrailCooking is Swiss Broccoli Mac & Cheese.
The first time I made it was in the spring of 2004, on a camping and hiking trip to Beacon Rock State Park in Washington State.
I’d go on to use in our season of trail cooking videos we shot in 2008 on location.
I really loved the recipe – it was a one pot meal, made from scratch and required no draining of the pasta.
What more could you want? Well….swiss cheese was far lower in sodium than cheddar and it holds up better in the heat.
I’ve gone on to freeze-dry swiss cheese as well, I love it that much. This recipe can use chunked cheese, grated cheese or yes, even freeze-dried.
Swiss Broccoli Mac & Cheese
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry milk
  • 2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 8-ounces uncooked small shell or twisty pasta (7 minutes or less cook time)
  • 1/3 cup diced dried broccoli or freeze-dried
  • 5-ounces Swiss cheese

At home:

Pack the flour through pepper in a snack size ziptop bag. Pack the pasta and broccoli in a sandwich ziptop bag. Pack the cheese with the bags*.

In camp:

Cut the cheese into very small chunks. A piece of clean parchment paper or a paper towel folded – or even a gallon freezer bag works well as a cutting board.

Ass 3½ cups water to a 2 Liter pot, bring to a boil, add pasta and broccoli pieces. Return to a boil. Lower the stove’s heat and boil gently with the lid on until the pasta is done according the pasta package, stirring occasionally. Do not drain.

Stir in the dry ingredients, then most of the cheese (reserve a bit for topping). Turn off heat and stir until the cheese starts to melt. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes to fully melt.

Serve topped with the reserved cheese.

Serves 2.
Swiss cheese will carry fine for a first night out trip. You can use shredded as well, but take a sealed bag to ensure freshness. Take it chilled in a cooler to the trailhead, or keep in a cooler if car camping. I carry fresh cheese deep in the backpack, to ensure it stays cooler, and if you carry an FBC Cozy or pot cozy, drop it in cold. If it gets warm, it’ll get limp, but is safe to eat.
Boiling water.
Adding the pasta and broccoli.
Ready to enjoy.
See the video: