Macaroni with cheese and vegetables

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This healthy vegetable and macaroni and cheese recipe is a delicious and easy 25-minute weekend dinner or side dish that your kids will love! Use your favorite vegetables to make this vegetarian macaroni and cheese suit your family's tastes!

If you're a parent, you probably make and eat your fair share of macaroni and cheese. I know it is, because my kids love it, and making homemade macaroni and cheese is easy.

I mean, what do you dislike about a plate of pasta with cheese? So I decided to stick with it and created this vegetable and macaroni and cheese recipe to add a little bit of nutrient boost to my kids' favorite dish!

This healthy Veggie Mac & Cheese recipe is a delicious and easy weekend dinner or side dish made in 25 minutes that your whole family will love! The best part? You can use your favorite type of pasta and vegetables to customize this macaroni and cheese to your family's tastes!

Macaroni and cheese and vegetables: ingredients

There are only 8 ingredients in this macaroni and cheese and vegetable recipe! Let's talk about them and possible substitutions before diving into how to make the recipe!

  • Macaroni. I have used regular and whole wheat elbows to make this vegetarian macaroni and cheese with great results! Actually, you can use any type of pasta! I prefer to use shapes like wheels, bow ties, rotini, etc. because the cheese adapts to every corner and crack! You can also use gluten-free pasta to make this gluten-free recipe!
  • Olive oil. Any neutral oil works great here! It's just for sautéing vegetables, so pick your favorite!
  • Vegetables. Use 2 cups of your favorite vegetables! In this particular batch of macaroni and cheese and vegetables I used 1 cup of broccoli (cut small) and 1 cup of grated zucchini.
    • Other ideas: yellow squash, carrots, bell peppers, onions, peas, tomatoes, cauliflower, squash, etc.
  • Butter. This recipe calls for salted butter! Butter without salt works just as well, maybe you just need to add a little more salt at the end!
  • Flour. All-purpose flour is used to thicken the cheese sauce. I don't recommend skipping it! However, you can substitute an all-purpose gluten-free flour for a gluten-free option.
  • Garlic powder. Garlic powder really adds a subtle but important depth of flavor to this dish! You can also use minced garlic, just sauté with the vegetables!
  • Whole milk. Any percentage of milk works well in this macaroni and cheese and vegetable recipe! Just remember, the higher the fat content, the creamier your macaroni and cheese will be.
  • Sour cream. Like milk, any fat content works in this recipe, but the creaminess of the final product will be affected depending on your choice. I also use Greek yogurt quite often with great results!
  • Cheese!

How to make macaroni and cheese and vegetables

OK! Now that we've discussed the ingredients needed to make this vegetarian macaroni and cheese, let's dive in to do it!

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Cook pasta

Start by cooking your pasta of choice! Always add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the water used to cook the pasta for the best flavor! When finished, drain but Noodles. Cheese sticks better to macaroni if ​​not rinsed!

Sauté Vegetables

While pasta is cooking, sauté vegetables in olive oil until fully cooked. The amount of time required will depend on the vegetables you choose. This is when vegetables are cooked, so it's important to make sure you cook them to your liking.

Make cheese sauce

Once the vegetables are cooked (or while they're cooking), make the cheese sauce. Start by making a roux with the butter and dry ingredients. Then add the milk and sour cream and finally add the cheese.

Use quality cheese!

The flavor of your vegetable macaroni and cheese largely depends on the quality of the cheese used to make the sauce! As I've discussed before (in this cheese pretzel snack recipe, this cheese sausage gnocchi, and this spaghetti macaroni and cheese recipe), we adore Cabot's cheddars!

For the best vegetarian macaroni and cheese, you should choose a cheese that is strong, tasty, and creamy! The flavor, texture and quality of Cabot cheese is absolute perfection! All Cabot cheddars are naturally aged, naturally gluten free and lactose free! I recommend using any of their cheddar varieties (especially Vermont Sharp and Seriously Sharp)!

Not only is Cabot cheese amazing, but I love supporting companies that support small farms and families – that's exactly what Cabot is all about! Cabot is a cooperative owned by 1,000 farmer families in New England and New York and 100% of the proceeds go to farmers!

Put it together

Once the sauce is thick and the noodles and vegetables are cooked, it's time to put it all together. Add the cooked macaroni to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir.

Next, add the cooked vegetables and stir gently until everything is combined.

To serve!

Serve the macaroni with cheese and vegetables right away for the best flavor and texture! You can leave the pot covered to keep the macaroni and cheese and vegetables warm while you finish preparing the rest of the meal (if you serve this as a side dish and not as the main event). Here are some dishes that would pair beautifully with this vegetarian mac and cheese:

  • It would make a fantastic accompaniment to this balsamic roast (one of our favorite main courses)!
  • Serve it with this avocado chicken salad!
  • For a truly kid-friendly dinner, serve it up with these healthy Sloppy Joes!

How is Vegetable Mac & Cheese stored?

Store any leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days!

To reheat:

Place the macaroni and cheese on a microwave-safe plate, cover and heat for 30-60 seconds, or until completely heated through. You may need to add a little milk to restore the original creaminess, because the cheese sauce will continue to soak the macaroni as it cools.

Healthy recipe for macaroni and cheese and vegetables

This healthy vegetable and macaroni and cheese recipe is a delicious and easy 25-minute weekend dinner or side dish that your kids will love! Use your favorite vegetables to make this macaroni and cheese vegetable suit your family's tastes! Preparation time: 5 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Servings: 8 Servings: Calories: 284.3kcal


Macaroni elbows:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked (1 ¾ cups – (regular, whole wheat, chickpeas, etc.)
  • water with salt


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 cups shredded or diced vegetables *

Cheese sauce:

  • 2 butter spoons
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour **
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. Cheddar Cabot Cheese (2 cups), grated


Cook the macaroni:

  • Cook the macaroni elbow according to the package directions. Be sure to add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the water used to boil the noodles.
  • Drain, DO NOT rinse, and set aside.

Sauteed vegetables:

  • While the macaroni is cooking, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and diced vegetables to a medium skillet and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are soft but slightly firm.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the cheese sauce:

  • Mix flour, sea salt, and garlic powder in small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • When the butter melts, add the flour and whisk mixture to combine.
  • Cook for 1 minute until mixture is lightly browned.
  • Add 1 cup of milk and beat until mixture is smooth.
  • Add sour cream (or Greek yogurt and beat until smooth.
  • Cook over medium-high heat until mixture thickens (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Don't let it boil.
  • Once the mixture is thick (sticks to the back of the spatula), reduce the heat to low and add cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Try and add more salt / seasoning if desired.

Put it together:

  • Add the cooked cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce pot and stir until the sauce is evenly distributed.
  • Add the sautéed vegetables and stir. Serve hot!


Notes: Vegetable Suggestions: In this recipe, I used 1 cup of grated zucchini and 1 cup of diced broccoli. Other ideas: yellow squash, carrots, bell peppers, onions, peas, tomatoes, cauliflower, squash, etc. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. You may need to add another 1-2 tablespoons of milk to make the mac and cheese creamy again after storing!


Serving: 0.5 cup (8 servings per recipe) | Calories :: 284.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.9g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15.1 g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated fats: 0.3g | Monounsaturated fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43.7mg | Sodium: 363 mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 2.4g | Vitamin A: 17.3 IU | Vitamin C: 19.3mg | Calcium: 25.8mg | Iron: 11.4mg

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