This is the perfect way to may a classic comfort food healthier! This dish is fully customizable, from the type of cheese down to the veggies. Chef Sarah chose to use cauliflower and kale as her veggies of choice. In the cheese sauce, Chef Sarah is using Parmesan and cheddar. Don’t forget to make a roux before starting the cheese sauce so that it is as thick and creamy as possible. After finishing your cheese sauce, add back in the cooked veggies, cooked pasta, and herbs for extra flavor.
Tip: Top your Mac and cheese with bread crumbs and olive oil, and bake until there is a crispy layer on top.
Veggie Mac ‘n Cheese
Cooking Equipment Needed:
Small sauce pan
1 lb dried whole grain pasta: bowtie, elbows or other small pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pound cauliflower and/or broccoli florets, finely diced
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoon mixed herbs, finely chopped (optional)
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan or aged pecorino romano cheese, divided
1 cup grated cheddar
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoon olive oil, or melted butter
1 cup panko or other bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pinch of salt then add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Heat a large skillet to med-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Then add garlic and the rest of the vegetables, season it with salt and pepper flakes and sauté until tender. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- To make the cheese sauce, heat a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add butter. Once completely melted, add flour and whisk quickly until the mixture is shiny and resembles a loose paste. Add milk, a very small splash at a time, whisking constantly. Let mixture simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cheese in several additions, combining each additionally completely before adding the next. Remove pan from heat and stir all of mixed herbs. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Off the heat, add drained pasta and the vegetable mixture, stirring to combine. Pour into casserole dish. For topping, stir breadcrumbs into oil or melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, then allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.