This One Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe transforms a family dinner fave with a veggie twist and a bonus for the clean up – 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 pot or pan! Use a non-stick pan and clean up will be super easy.
This is also a great recipe for cooking with kids as there are many parts of the preparation that they can assist with – including grating, chopping, measuring and stirring. It’s actually the perfect recipe for kids learning to cook independently.
One Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
You’ll find the complete recipe in the recipe card below, but first few recipe hints and tips;
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.
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. As for hubby and me, I stir baby spinach leaves through before serving.
We use dried macaroni pasta as a classic Mac & Cheese option but you can substitute your favorite type of pasta.
If your family are pasta fans, they might also like to try our Cheese, Bacon & Spaghetti Pie recipe or these Slow Cooker Mini Meatballs served with spaghetti or our Pantry Pasta recipe made with pantry basics.
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 cheese or for a milder flavor use a Colby or cheddar cheese.
The garlic powder and mustard are definitely optional and can be left out if you think your kids would object to it.
- 1 ½ cups dried macaroni 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.
- The garlic powder and mustard are definitely optional and can be left out if you think your kids would object to it.
- For a stronger flavor, add some gruyere cheese or for a milder flavour use a Colby or cheddar cheese.
- Use a non-stick pan if you have one. It will make clean up easier.
- Make sure you stir the mixture every few minutes while it is cooking to stop it sticking to the pan.
- Optional, for those who like them, stir baby spinach leaves through before serving.
For more family dinner ideas, check out these related recipes;