Hidden Veggie Mac & Cheese

Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese - Perfect quick and healthy recipe for the whole family. #kidfriendlyrecipes #macandcheese

Determined to come up with something relatively healthy when my 2-year-old was having a particularly picky week, I came up with this recipe for Hidden Veggie Mac & Cheese.  Of course, it had to have the right orange color and the right shape pasta.  The verdict…  it was a hit!  The adults had this as a side dish the same night and everyone liked it.  The veggies I used all had a mild but slightly sweet flavor, so they blended right in and my daughter ate it, so it was a win.  It was a little dry as leftovers, so I recommend adding a splash of milk when you reheat it.

Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese - Perfect quick and healthy recipe for the whole family. #kidfriendlyrecipes #macandcheese

Ingredients  serves 8-10

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups frozen butternut squash pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 16 oz elbow pasta

Directions

Cook the cauliflower and carrots covered in a saucepan filled about a 1/4 of the way with water for about 5-7 minutes.  Add the squash and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Drain the veggies and let them cool for a minute.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Put the veggies in the blender with about 3/4 cup of water and puree until smooth.  Add the puree to a large sauce pan.  On medium-low heat, add in the milk, salt, cheddar, butter and cream cheese and stir until melted.

Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and stir.

That’s it!  A dish that’s good for picky eaters and the whole family.  Enjoy!

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14 thoughts on “Hidden Veggie Mac & Cheese

  1. I tried your recipe today and it was a big hit! Only had lite cream cheese and used about half the butter and it was still delicious. My husband, who usually doesn’t like Mac ‘n Cheese, because of the fat is totally in love and I guess will want to have them all the time now 🙂

  2. Hi Lianne,
    I haven’t tried freezing it. I think the sauce would freeze ok. I think I would freeze just the sauce and then add it to fresh pasta instead of freezing it mixed. Let me know if you try it!

    Thanks
    Stephanie

  3. That’s what I was thinking! Will give it a shot as there’s only 2 of us so if it works then it will make a decent amount of portions for the freezer. Thanks!

  4. Oooh also, do you think it would work without the butternut squash as not sure I can get any? Would you sub anything else for it or just leave it out?

  5. Ok great, hopefully going to try and make this tonight so will let you know if I end up freezing some!

  6. The sauce freezes well. The recipe makes a lot more than I need for my family of 4 so I divided it into 4 portions and put 3 meals worth in the freezer for later.

  7. I have been making this for a year now! My picky son loves, it and I have to admit I think it’s completely addictive. It’s little different every time because I make the veggie puree in bulk and freeze it. (I don’t think the sauce would freeze well since I know that cream cheese doesn’t freeze well.) If you could provide a measurement for the amount of puree that goes into one recipe, that would be so helpful! Thanks!

  8. Just made this today and it’s really yummy! It was a little bland for me so I added a bit more salt plus some garlic and onion powder. I also upped the cheese a little because I needed to get rid of some extra I had. The true test will be when my picky 7 year old tries it. My 2, 5, and 12 year olds love it though. The texture is awesome.

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