Veggie Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese

I discovered the glory of Veggie Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese three or four years ago when I was looking for a way to use up some leftover vegetables. I thought to myself, “‘how can I force us to eat all these random veggies?” The answer, my friend, was cheese.

 Combining oven roasted veggies with a creamy, homemade macaroni and cheese was not only amazing – it was simple! Just follow these easy steps to make your very own Veggie Mac ‘n’ Cheese masterpiece! 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 yellow squash, diced
2 tsp olive oil

4 cups whole wheat macaroni (I used large elbows)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2 cups sharp and 1 cup mild, because thats what I had)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs

Note: You can roast tons of different veggies to make your own unique mac ‘n’ cheese. Try zucchini, onion, radishes, or jalapenos for a slight kick!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place  a large pot on the stove on medium-high and begin to boil the water for your pasta.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and spread the chopped and diced veggies evenly in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to packaging. Once cooked al dente, strain and set aside. ***Turn oven up to 450 degrees.***

This next part you want to do quickly and accurately to make the best possible mac ‘n’ cheese!

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add garlic and saute for 30-45 seconds making sure not to burn. Add the flour and whisk gently for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk, whisking gently the entire time and until mixture is slightly reduced. Remove from heat.

Mix in shredded cheddar cheese and stir until evenly dispersed and completely melted. Add red pepper flakes and salt & pepper.

Next, add about half of the pasta to the cheese mixture and stir. Then add veggies and mix again. Then, add the remaining pasta and fold into mixture until combined well.

         
        

Spread the macaroni evenly in a glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and bake on top rack of oven for about 5 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.

Serve hot and enjoy!

– Chef Genny

 

Veggie Macaroni 'n' Cheese
Combining oven roasted veggies with a creamy, homemade macaroni and cheese was not only amazing - it was simple! Just follow these easy steps to make your very own Veggie Mac 'n' Cheese masterpiece!
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup broccoli, chopped
  2. 1/2 red pepper, diced
  3. 1/2 green pepper, diced
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  5. 1 yellow squash, diced
  6. 2 tsp olive oil
  7. 4 cups whole wheat macaroni (I used large elbows)
  8. 1/2 cup olive oil
  9. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  11. 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  12. 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2 cups sharp and 1 cup mild, because thats what I had)
  13. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  14. salt & pepper, to taste
  15. 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place a large pot on the stove on medium-high and begin to boil the water for your pasta.
  2. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and spread the chopped and diced veggies evenly in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
  3. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to packaging. Once cooked al dente, strain and set aside. ***Turn oven up to 450 degrees.***
  5. This next part you want to do quickly and accurately to make the best possible mac 'n' cheese!
  6. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add garlic and saute for 30-45 seconds making sure not to burn. Add the flour and whisk gently for 1 minute. Gradually stir in milk, whisking gently the entire time and until mixture is slightly reduced. Remove from heat.
  7. Mix in shredded cheddar cheese and stir until evenly dispersed and completely melted. Add red pepper flakes and salt & pepper.
  8. Next, add about half of the pasta to the cheese mixture and stir. Then add veggies and mix again. Then, add the remaining pasta and fold into mixture until combined well.
  9. Spread the macaroni evenly in a glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and bake on top rack of oven for about 5 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can roast tons of different veggies to make your own unique mac 'n' cheese. Try zucchini, onion, radishes, or jalapenos for a slight kick!
Half Baked Cooks http://halfbakedcooks.com/

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