One of my favorite dishes since childhood is Mac & Cheese, but now that I’m an adult I like adding a variety of veggies. That’s why this Veggie Mac & Cheese recipe is so great! This dish is packed full of deep rich flavors and will please the entire family. You can have this as a side dish or as the main course for a comforting family meal. This dish takes a little bit work and time, so it may be best to make this one on the weekend especially if you have a lot of after work/school activities throughout the week. This dish also reheats well thus making it a hit for leftovers!
This dish works best with fresh ingredients as opposed to frozen. If you were to use frozen vegetables it could make this dish a little on the soggy side. The style of noodles that I like to use gives this dish a nice bite and a fun appearance, but you may use any style of noodle that you are accustomed to. The key is not over cooking your noodles so they don’t turn to mush while baking. This dish has such a robust flavor and is nice and rich with all of the veggies and the cheese sauce. Now, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!
VEGGIE MAC & CHEESE
- 1 pkg (16 oz) Cellentani Pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pint Sangria medley tomatoes
- 1 pkg (12 oz) pkg baby spinach
- 1 pkg mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 6 Tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (I like Better Than Bouillon Base)
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 pkg (16 oz) mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 3/4 cup Italian Panko breadcrumbs
- Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
- Parsley, chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degree F.
- Prepare a large and deep baking dish with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot boil noodles, drain and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan add tomatoes to hot pan to blister and burst. Once most of the tomatoes have burst add onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft. Add spinach to wilt. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Add mushrooms to saucepan and brown. Once browned remove and add to tomato mixture; set aside.
- Add butter to pan and melt. Once melted add flour and whisk until mixed well and flour smell has cooked off. Slowly add milk while whisking. Slowly add stock while whisking. Cook for roughly 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and add cheese; whisk until melted and incorporated.
- Add veggies and noodles to sauce. Stir well to mix throughout.
- Add to prepared baking dish. Top with panko and remaining olive oil.
- Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Before serving top with parsley and Parmesan cheese.