I love macaroni and cheese so much, but I know how some of the boxed varieties can be full of preservatives and unwanted colors and dyes. I love the idea of making my own and one that has vegetables in it without compromising the taste! (Plus, I use a veggie pasta for extra nutritional value.)
You can add a plethora of vegetables to your macaroni and cheese. I’ve come up with delicious dish that incorporates roasted cauliflower and veggie macaroni! You could of course try it with anything: broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers, or squash!
Cheesey Cauliflower + Veggie Macaroni Bake
- Preheat over to 375 degrees. Chop up 1 head of cauliflower to your liking. (Depending on how large you want the cauliflower in your bake, you can make them bite sized pieces, or finely chopped. I cut them into bite sized pieces so that when I roasted it, the pieces wouldn’t get charred)
- On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, coat your cauliflower pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 min, until soft and tender.
- In a large pot, cook 1 lb of veggie pasta (I like this Barilla Veggie Rotini), according to instructions. Al dente is preferred, since we will be baking it later. Set pasta aside after draining.
- You’ll also need: 3T of all-purpose flour, 1/2 of a sweet onion chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, chopped, 2.5 cups of grated white cheddar cheese, 2.5 cups of whole milk, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 T melted butter, salt & pepper, olive oil.
Cheese Sauce and Breaded Topping:
- Melt 3 Tbsp of butter into a saucepan on medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. gradually add in the milk, whisking frequently. Let the sauce come to a simmer and thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the grated cheese until it melts.
- Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and pasta. Add in the cauliflower, tossing well to coat entirely.
- In a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, pour all of the contents in.
- In a bowl, mix the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and melted butter. Stir well. Spread evenly over the pasta and cauliflower.
- Bake until the sauce is bubbly and has thickened slightly 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Do you have a good macaroni and cheese recipe that you’d like to share? Post the link to it in the comments below. I’d love to try it! Enjoy!
This looks so good! Healthy and delicious comfort food!