Roasted Veggie Macaroni and Cheese
Whether you are looking to eat healthier, add a little zip to your meals, or both… then this dish is one you have to try. Rich, creamy macaroni and cheese with no butter, no cream, and you don’t lose any flavor. Sound to good to be true? It’s not, I promise.
We are always looking to add more veggies to our diets and roasting the vegetables gives so much flavor. Plus, an added bonus is that cleanup is a cinch- make everything in one pot and you can toss the aluminum foil keeping your roasting pan clean.
Less calories and dishes? I’m in!
First you are going chop chop chop and dice up all the vegetables – onion, bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, squash and broccoli (your’re chopping broccoli – for all you old SNL fans). If you do not like these, or if any are not available you can substitute in any vegetables as long as you keep a similar dice size so they will all cook evenly. I have replaced the yellow squash with butternut squash and it added a delicious sweetness to the dish. I am thinking about trying asparagus sometime as well.
I was the kid who sat for hours NOT eating my veggies at dinner, but this small dice wrapped in all the cheesy goodness makes these yummy.
Put these along with 2 cloves of garlic in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting boil 2 cups of your favorite macaroni noodles, drain and set aside. Use whole wheat pasta to add more nutritional value. It is going to look like it is not enough, but it is… really! Personally I prefer Cavatappi because I think it holds on to the cheese sauce well, but regular old elbow macaroni will do as well. You can just use a deep oval casserole dish right on the stove top so you can use it again to complete the dish.
Now get your whisk ready. Heat the olive oil and once it is hot, whisk in the flour for 1 minute. Then add the milk and continue to whisk until it thickens. You will then remove it from the heat to stir in the cheese, chili powder and mustard powder. Salt & pepper to taste.
We have used Monterey jack cheese for this, but feel free to experiment with different combinations of cheeses you like as long as they melt well.
Combine the vegetables and macaroni with the sauce and mix well. Be sure to crush the roasted garlic before mixing it in.
Throw it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the top is golden brown. If you want to be a little decadent, sprinkle some more cheese on top.
That is it – EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY… and hopefully it will get the veggies into your family. Use it as a side dish or you could chop up some chicken in it for a main course!
Roasted Veggie Macaroni & Cheese
- 2 cups dry pasta
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 1 bell pepper, red or green
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 TBS flour
- 1½ cups skim milk
- 2 cups Monterey jack shredded cheese
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Dice the vegetables – squash, zucchini, onion, bell pepper, carrot, and broccoli. Be sure to keep them all similar size.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread vegetables along with 2 cloves of garlic in a single layer on the pan, and roast for 20 minutes.
- While vegetables are cooking boil 2 cups macaroni noodles (use whole wheat pasta to further increase the health factor), drain and set aside. I use a casserole dish on the stovetop so I can reuse it for the remainder of my cooking.
- In the same heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot whisk in flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and keep whisking until mixture begins to thicken. Remove pan from heat, stir in cheese, chili powder, and dry mustard.
- Stir in vegetables and macaroni. (crush garlic prior to adding in)
- Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes until top is golden brown.
Use as a side dish OR you can dice up 2 chicken breasts in it to make it a main course.
Since we are about saving money, saving time and saving my mind I am hoping to have more SIMPLE, EASY, HEALTHIER recipes for you in the future.