In today’s post Maree of Three Foot Cooks transforms a family favourite – good old Mac & Cheese – with a veggie twist and a bonus – it only takes one pan!
Dinner ideas that suit the whole family can often be difficult to come up with. So a dinner idea that not only tastes great to the kids but also suits the grownups is a recipe winner. This Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese fits the bill and is actually the best version I have tasted so far. And kids love Mac and Cheese, right?!
And the best part for us grown ups? This dish only uses one pan!
Most kids like pasta and this recipe is a good way to get some extra vegetables into their diet. You can choose whether to hide the vegetables or not. As for hubby and me, I stir baby spinach leaves through our serves.
Our Chinese Meatballs and Vege Noodles is another great recipe for for getting your family to eat more vegetables.
If your kids are okay with vegetables you can leave the skin on the zucchini, use broccoli as well as cauliflower or add some sliced mushrooms. If you want to hide the vegetables a little more, try using vegetable purees. Steam some chopped yellow squash, puree and then stir through towards the end of the cooking time.
This is also a great recipe for varying the taste to suit your family by changing up the cheese you use. For a stronger flavour, try adding some gruyere or for a milder flavour use a Colby or cheddar cheese. I also like to replace ¼ cup of the tasty cheese with parmesan to add a bit more flavour. You might also like to try our Vege Pancake Parcels if your kids like the cheesy vegetable combination.
One Pan Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese
You will need:
- 1 ½ cups dried macaroni pasta, or your favourite shape of pasta
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 zucchini, peeled and grated
- 1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or Dijon mustard
- 2 cups grated tasty cheese
- 2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour
- Salt and pepper to season
- Prepare the vegetables. If the children are helping, the zucchini is easier for younger children to grate than the carrot. The cauliflower can be broken up into small pieces (florets) by hand.
- Place all the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, in a large non-stick frying pan.
- Stir the mixture well.
- Place the pan onto the stove and heat to a simmer.
- Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Give the mixture a good stir every couple of minutes while it is cooking.
- Remove the lid from the pan and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
Hints & Tips
- The garlic powder and mustard are definitely optional and can be left out if you think your kids would object to it.
- Use a non-stick pan if you have one. It will make clean up easier.
- Make sure you stir the mixture every now and then while it is cooking to stop it sticking to the pan.