Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups reduced-fat milk
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese
For best results, we recommend using:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta.
- Put cauliflower, squash, carrots, and 1½ cups water in a pot over medium heat; cover the pot and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Blend vegetable mixture in a blender until smooth. Alternately, blend in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth. Return puree to the pot over medium heat; add milk, Cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Cook while stirring until smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Add macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
- Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
To cut down on prep time, look for pre-cut butternut squash in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. Using an immersion blender makes this recipe a one-pot meal!
What others are saying
Geoff Villeneuve says:
The ultimate in sophistication!
Tim Hedstrom says:
My wife and I enjoyed this recipe but both our girls wouldn’t eat it. They were super excited for Mac n cheese and had no idea what was in it but immediately asked what’s wrong with it. Since it’s supposed to be a hidden veggie recipe I expected it to pass the kid test. Since it didn’t I wanted to give it 3 stars but since it’s a good recipe I upped it to 4. It’s worth a try for sure. I would recommend adding more cheese, maybe even dusting it with bread crumbs and baking it in the oven.
Kecia Jerome says:
This has a really good flavor! I sped up the process by using my MealPot to steam the veggies. You would never know there are so many veggies in here. The blend of the veggies and the cheese make a very flavorful sauce. The recipe is big, my husband ate it as a side with two helpings, I had it as my meal and I package up two containers, one for my mother and one for my son and an additional for left overs for our house.
Sam Dalton says:
If you have kids you must try this recipe! Stay away from the boxed mac and cheese and feed them this delicious and nutritious mac and cheese recipe. It's the only way I can get my kids to eat their veggies with no complaints. The sauce is really good and you can't really tell that there's anything else in it. Use any kind of noodle, elbow or fusilli works great.
Katie Hason says:
I've been on a "hidden veggie" kick lately, and I absolutely loved this mac and cheese version. You can barely taste the butternut squash, carrot, and cauliflower. This is healthier and more nutritious than a traditional mac, and just as good. The cream cheese and Cheddar make it extra creamy and delicious!