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!