Hidden veggie mac and cheese uses sneaky ingredients including carrots, butternut squash and cauliflower to make an easy pasta dish.
Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese
I love any recipe that adds a little more veggies to my family’s diet, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Carrots, butternut squash and cauliflower are all sneaky ingredients inside this mac and cheese.
If you’re used to eating the traditional boxed mac and cheese, this will most definitely taste different – I’m not gonna lie! But the processed food version of mac and cheese is full of preservatives and added salt. There is basically zero nutritional value. So this hidden veggie mac and cheese is a great way to transition from the processed food version into something more healthy.
The texture will be different than what you’re used to from the boxed version… but this recipe is delicious!
Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese Ingredients
To make it you’ll need cauliflower, carrots and butternut squash. Feel free to use fresh or frozen veggies. Today I used frozen butternut squash, fresh cauliflower and carrots. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients used in the recipe:
- Elbow Pasta Noodles – Truthfully you can use any shape of pasta noodles you have in your cupboard. But traditionally mac and cheese uses elbow shape noodles. You can use regular pasta noodles, brown rice pasta noodles, chickpea noodles.
- Cauliflower – You’ll need 1 cup of cauliflower. If you don’t want to buy a full cauliflower head, look for small florets sold in the grocery store.
- Butternut Squash – To make life easier, I used frozen butternut squash cubes. You can also use canned squash if it’s available near you.
- Carrots – You can use fresh or frozen carrots. You’ll need 1 cup which is about 1 full carrot.
- Milk – You can use any kind of milk you’d like – dairy or non-dairy including almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.
- Cheddar Cheese – You’ll need 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Cream Cheese – You’ll also need 1/2 cup of cream cheese (about 4 oz)
Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese Directions
This pasta is made in four easy steps. Here’s a quick run down:
- Boil The Pasta – Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to package instructions. Drain the pasta then add it back to the pot.
- Boil or Steam Veggies – If veggies are raw, add them to a pot with 2 cups water. Let boil and cook veggies until they soften, about 5-10 minutes. Strain the veggies and add to a blender along with 1 cup of milk into a puree.
- Make Sauce – Pour the veggie puree back into the pot along with shredded cheese and cream cheese. Let it melt over medium heat, stirring often.
- Mix Together – Once cheese is melted into the sauce, pour overtop of the cooked pasta and stir together. Season with salt and pepper and add your favorite toppings if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
You can grab the full printout recipe at the bottom of this page – scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to get it.
More Recipes To Try
- Pizza Pasta Bake – This is easy, gooey, cheesy and oh so delicious. Made with pasta, ground beef, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.
- Chicken Olive Pasta Bake – Made with penne pasta, baby spinach, olives, green bell pepper, and chicken breast. Everything can be dumped in the dish and baked for an all-in-one dinner.
- One Pot Taco Pasta – Ground beef, tender pasta noodles, black beans and corn all cook together in one pot for quick and fast clean up.
- Mushroom Kale Pasta – I love this recipe for the busiest of weeknights when there’s not enough energy and no thawed meat.
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Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese
- 3 cups elbow pasta noodles
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup butternut squash - fresh or frozen
- 1 cup carrots - chopped
- 1 cup milk - dairy or non dairy
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- ½ cup cream cheese - 4 oz.
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Add cauliflower, butternut squash, and carrots to a steamer. Let steam until veggies are tender, approx 10-15 minutes.
- Blend veggies until smooth in a blender.
- Return veggie mixture to a medium pot. Add in milk, shredded cheese, and cream cheese. Let simmer on medium-high heat, and stir until cheese melts.
- Add macaroni to the pot and mix together. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!