Vegetable Mac N Cheese Casserole for #WeekdaySupper

The ingredients for this dish may raise your eyebrows but trust me when I tell you that it’s delicious! So delicious that even my picky children ate it. I first made this as a plain Mac N Cheese because I was convinced that my kids would never eat vegetables so I was trying my hardest to sneak them in (wait until you see the secret ingredient!) Then I thought of adding a smaller vegetable that would cling to the cheese and then my picky children would have no choice but to actually eat two vegetables in one dish! Success! It worked.

This can be made in less then thirty minutes and it even gives you a half a cup of cheese sauce leftover for another small meal. If you’re rushed for dinner during the week like I am, make the sauce over the weekend, jar it and save it for a busy week night! My daughter now associates this cheese sauce as “Mom’s Mac N Cheese”.  I used a veggie pasta, Barilla makes it and comes in 3 different shapes and colors, shells, rotini and penne pasta. I did this strictly to fascinate the kiddo’s but you can use any kind! You can skip the pureeing of the sweet potato, I did the first time, however my daughter grew wise to the chunks and wouldn’t eat it so I thought I’d try pureeing it!  Momma 1, Madison 1. This recipe was inspired from my friend Amber over at Fit Foodie Runs.

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Vegetable Mac N Cheese for #WeekdaySupper
 
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This healthy and light Mac N Cheese will make the pickiest of eaters come back for seconds. Can you guess what the secret ingredient is?
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 6 oz of veggie tricolored pasta (any pasta works)
  • 6 oz of cheddar cheese, shredded (I use cabot's block cheese and shred it)
  • 2 cups of reduced fat milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F wrap the potato in tinfoil and poke the sweet potato a few times with a fork.
  2. Bake for 30 min. Let cool. Scoop the flesh and add to a blender. Splash a little of the milk into the blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Cook pasta according to the packaged directions. Add the peas into the boiling water the last minute or two.
  4. In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter is almost melted add the flour and whisk turning it into a thick chunks.
  5. Add one cup of water and start whisking. Continue to whisk, working all of the flour chunks. Add the rest of the milk and turn the heat to high. Keep whisking and let the sauce thicken. This may take a few minutes.
  6. Add in the pureed potato stirring to combine a minute or two.
  7. Turn the heat off and slowly add the cheddar cheese whisking until the cheese is fully melted.
  8. Drain pasta and peas and add all of the sauce reserving about a ½ cup for a later use.
  9. Add to a greased 13x9 baking dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 10 more minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Vegetable Mac N Cheese

Check out the other delicious weekday supper dishes for some meal planning inspiration!

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Monday – Vodka Cream Pasta by MealDiva

Tuesday - Bacon Cheddar Potato Pancakes with Dijon Maple Syrup by Nik Snacks

Thursday – Hearty Chili with Beef, Beans, and Roasted Red Peppers by The Perfect Brownie

Friday – Kimchi & Sausage Pancakes by kimchi MOM