Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Kayla Berman
Veggie Mac & Cheese is a quick and easy dinner recipe both kid and adults will enjoy! Made with white cheddar and parmesan cheese, elbow pasta, broccoli, carrots, peas, and corn … this simple meal is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with colorful vegetables. A delicious dinner that is bound to be a new family favorite!
This easy weeknight meal calls for all your classic macaroni and cheese ingredients. Elbow pasta, milk, butter, and lots of cheese of course.
Plus your not so classic ingredients … a mix of colorful fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables too!
- Elbow Pasta: You of course need the classic macaroni elbow pasta for macaroni and cheese! 1 lb is perfect here.
- Broccoli, Carrot, Peas, & Corn: Broccoli, carrots, peas, and corn are the veggies in this veggie mac. You’ll need 1 chopped broccoli head, 1 large carrot stick chopped, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and 1/2 cup of frozen corn. They provide a great mix of flavors, textures, and color!
- Butter: 1/4 cup salted butter is used in the cheesy, creamy sauce here.
- Flour: The cheesy sauce is a roux sauce! You’ll need 1/4 cup all purpose flour for that.
- Milk: 3 cups of milk is also needed for the sauce. You can use any milk you’d like, but I like 1%.
- Parmesan & White Cheddar Cheese: The most important part of any mac and cheese. The cheese! This recipe calls for 2 cups of shredded parmesan cheese and 2 1/4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar. The combination is simply delicious!
- Garlic & Onion Powder: 1 1/2 tsp of each garlic powder and onion powder adds great flavor to this dish.
- Salt & Pepper: Lastly, of course add salt and black pepper to taste!
Substitutions & Additions
Vegetable mac and cheese is super customizable! You can make additions or swaps to your liking and preferences. Here are some of my ideas!
Cheese: You can definitely mix up the cheeses in this recipe if you’d like. I love the sharp cheddar and parmesan here, but gruyere is delicious in mac and cheese too! I think American cheese would also be great for that classic cheesy taste.
Pasta: You could use any pasta shape you’d like here, not just elbow macaroni. You could also use whole wheat pasta for more nutrition or gluten-free pasta if you need!
Vegetables: Add or takeaway the veggies in this recipe based on what you like! You could remove any that you’re not a fan of and throw in your favorite vegetables. I think red bell pepper, zucchini, chopped cauliflower, or green beans would be great choices!
Seasonings: I kept the seasonings in this recipe super simple to keep it family friendly! But you can adjust depending on who will be enjoying this vegetable mac. Perhaps add less for kids and even more for adults – like paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or Italian seasoning!
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- Dutch Oven or Large Pot
- Large Saucepan
- Measuring Cups / Spoons
- Liquid Measuring Cups
- Wooden Spoons
- Cheese Shredder
- Pasta Strainer
How To Make Veggie Mac and Cheese
This family friendly recipe is super easy! You’ll make a simple roux cheese sauce, boil the macaroni and veggies, and then combine. Simple and delicious!
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Start by preparing the vegetables as instructed.
Step 2: Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta, broccoli, and carrots to the pot. Let boil for about 7 minutes. Then add in the frozen peas and corn. Boil for another 2-3 minutes. Drain once done and set aside
Step 4: While the pasta cooks, begin the cheese sauce. Melt the butter and flour together on the stove over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Cook for a few minutes until golden in color and there’s a slightly nutty smell.
Step 5: Then add the warm milk to the sauce in a steady stream. Whisk constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
Step 6: Once the sauce has thickened, turn to low heat and add in your cheeses. Add the cheese slowly and continue whisking to ensure it melts well. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Step 7: Next add the drained pasta and vegetables to the cheese sauce. Combine evenly. Add last touches of salt and pepper.
Step 8: Serve and enjoy!
The cheese sauce in this veggie mac is made with a simple roux. It helps give this sauce its thick, creamy texture.
I know a roux based sauce can be intimidating, but i promise you it is anything but that. Follow the tips below and you’ll be good to go!
Melt the butter and flour together until golden brown, slightly nutty in smell, and simmering.
Warm the milk before adding to the cream sauce. You can do this easily in the microwave … just heat for about 30-60 seconds. Make sure to add it in a constant stream as well. This helps to prevent clumping.
Whisk the cheese sauce constantly throughout the entire process. This once again helps prevent clumps and makes for a smooth sauce.
Once the sauce has thickened (enough to stick to the back of a spoon), lower the heat, and add in the shredded cheese. Low and slow ensures everything melts perfectly!
Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to your liking.
Try turning this cheesy macaroni into a baked dish! Simply add to a prepared baking dish or casserole dish, top with extra cheese and bread crumbs, and bake to golden brown crispy perfection.
It would be the ultimate comfort food.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can serve this mac & cheese simply as is! Top a big bowl with salt, pepper, and enjoy a deliciously cheesy and creamy meal.
I love to add a a little hot sauce too! It kicks this kid-friendly recipe up a notch.
You can also serve it as a side dish with perhaps baked chicken nuggets, herb crusted salmon, or buffalo chicken meatballs.
Store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week – 10 days.
Yes! You can totally freeze veggie mac n cheese. Simply transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. It will keep for a couple months.
Then when you are ready to enjoy for dinner – remove from the freezer, place in the fridge to thaw the morning of, and re-heat in the microwave or on the stovetop at dinnertime!
Love this recipe? Check out some more delicious & simple recipes below…
- Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- Turkey Bolognese
- Chicken Couscous Soup
- Sheet Pan Hawaiian Chicken
- Pesto Flatbread Pizzas
- Healthy Pasta Primavera
- Baked Pesto Chicken
Connect with me!
If you make this homemade mac or any of my other recipes I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram, so I can see and share your recreations!!
Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.Print
Veggie Mac & Cheese
Veggie Mac & Cheese is a quick & easy dinner recipe both kid and adults will enjoy! Made with white cheddar & parmesan cheese, elbow pasta, broccoli, carrots, peas, and corn … this simple meal is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with colorful vegetables. A delicious dinner that is bound to be a new family favorite!
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 Servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- 1 broccoli head, chopped
- 1 large carrot stick, chopped (small)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 lb elbow pasta
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cup 1% milk (warm)
- 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 1/4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Salt & pepper
- Start by preparing the vegetables as instructed. Chop the carrots and broccoli.
- Next add the pasta, broccoli, and carrots to a large pot of boiling water. Let boil for about 7 minutes. Then add in the frozen peas and corn and boil for the another 2-3 minutes.
- Drain your pasta and vegetables and begin the cheese sauce.
- Melt the butter and flour together on the stove over medium heat in a large pot. Cook for a few minutes until golden in color and there’s a slightly nutty smell.
- Then add the warm milk to the sauce in a steady stream. Whisk constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat to low and add in your cheeses. Add the cheese slowly and continue whisking to ensure it melts well. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Next add the drained pasta and vegetables to the cheesy sauce. Combine evenly. Add last touches of salt and pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!
- See full post for recipe tips!
Keywords: Veggie Mac & Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese with Veggies, Veggie Macaroni & Cheese