Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite meals. It’s the ultimate comfort food.
This recipe is easy and adaptable. As you can see in the picture, it’s got 2 different pastas! It’s penne! It’s shells! It’s madness! (It’s because I had a little bit of penne left and a little bit of shells left. Resourcefulness!) Clearly, I prefer penne or shells for mac & cheese (usually not at the same time), but elbows or chifferi (twirly elbows) are great choices, too.
It’s really easy to add veggies or meat to mac & cheese. I had some broccoli in the fridge, and I used a frozen veggie medley (Cascadian Farm with peas, carrots, and corn). It’s also really good with yellow squash. You can use whatever cheese you want. I usually 2 different types (cheddar and something else). This time, I used this new chipotle white cheddar and a sharp cheddar. The chipotle cheese was AMAZING. It added this really subtle kick and smokiness that I loved.
So without further ado:
Veggie Mac & Cheese
- 10 oz pasta*
- 1/2 cup cleaned and chopped broccoli
- 1/4 cup frozen veggie
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 1 cup vegetable stock/broth (or low fat milk for a creamier version)
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 1/2 cup cheese (I used 1 cup chipotle white cheddar, 1/2 sharp cheddar)
*This isn’t quite a whole box–if you’re using a whole box, use 4 Tbs. butter, 4 Tbs. flour, 2 cups broth/milk, 2 cups cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium-sized pot, boil water. Add your pasta, and cook according to the box instructions. A few minutes before the pasta is done (when it’s soft enough to chew, but it’s still got a little crunch), add your vegetables. This will thaw them if frozen and cook them enough so that they’re soft. Drain.
- In the same pot you cooked the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. While the onions cook, prepare a small casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the pasta/veggie mix into the dish.
- Whisk in the flour, making a paste. Now slowly stir in the vegetable stock. Keep whisking so the roux gets thick. Season the roux with pepper (and salt, if you choose). Add your cheese, and whisk it all up, melting the cheese.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, and give it a stir so everything is mixed nicely.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden on top and bubbly around the edges.