Most of the time when we have macaroni and cheese we eat it as a side dish. If I'm being very truthful I'll tell you that we mostly eat boxed mac and cheese because it's just so easy to make. I don't have to worry about buying different kinds of cheese, the noodles, and everything else needed to make it homemade.
However, when I'm making macaroni and cheese as an entree I always want it to be homemade. I also have to think about what I can add to the dish so that it's filling enough to be considered an entree. That isn't always easy because while a lot of people add ham to their mac I don't eat ham so that's not something I would ever add.
I recently saw a Roasted Veggie Mac and Cheese and thought it sounded really good. While there were vegetables listed I knew I could use whatever I had in the refrigerator which was another point for this dish. I ended up using broccoli, cauliflower, a bell pepper, and Brussels Sprouts. I think the broccoli and cauliflower are definitely needed because they are pretty hearty vegetables and taste so good roasted.
Then I had to worry about the cheese. I always use sharp cheddar cheese when I'm making mac and cheese but this time I added in creamy Havarti as well. I figured the difference between the sharp cheese and the smooth and creamy cheese would make a delicious sauce and I was right!
This macaroni and cheese makes a lot. I was surprised by how much we had left over after dinner which was great because I used it as a side dish for the next few days. The vegetables were roasted which added tons of flavor to this dish. The sauce was creamy with a slight bite and tasted great on both the pasta and vegetables.
While I thought this was the perfect entree mac and cheese I know my husband was missing some meat. Next time I would add some bacon to the pasta and I think that would help him. This would be an awesome side dish at the holidays because it's hearty but vegetarian so a lot of different people could enjoy it. You could also make roast the veggies a day ahead of time then put it all together the next day to serve.
- 8 oz. broccoli, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 10 oz. cauliflower, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 10 oz. Brussels Sprouts, quartered
- 1 T. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 12 oz. elbow pasta
- 1 T. butter
- ¼ c. onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ c. flour
- 2 c. low fat milk
- 1 c. vegetable broth
- 1 ¼ c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 c. Havarti cheese, shredded
- 2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Toss the broccoli, cauliflower, pepper, ad Brussels Sprouts with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the vegetables out on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Add in the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook until flour mixture is golden.
- Whisk in the milk slowly. Whisk in the broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses.
- Add the pasta and the roasted vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light 2017