Baked veggie mac and cheese is a family friendly way to enjoy veggies, protein, and classic cheesy goodness. Great for Meatless Monday! (via Semi-Vegetarian.com)I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like mac and cheese, and it’s certainly one of my favorites! There is always a time and place for not-so-healthy mac and cheese in my book, but for the majority of the time I prefer to find healthier alternatives for my family. I set out to make a version that kept the classic cheesy taste but ramp up the health factor and came out with a winner!

This baked veggie mac and cheese recipe has a few shortcuts, like using frozen vegetables, and it can be served as a main dish as it has 20 grams of protein per serving from the peas, pureed beans, and whole wheat pasta. For the cheese, I highly recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it versus buying pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is usually coated with an anti-caking agent which can sometimes make the cheese not melt as well. To save time, I usually just shred the cheese with the shredding attachment on my food processor (or you can just grate it on the large hole side of a box grater).

Nutrition stats aren’t too shabby! Based on one serving (recipe serves 10 people).

Baked_Veggie_Mac_and_Cheese_Nutrition
Our family loved this dish, and it makes a pretty big batch so there’s usually leftover for lunch the next day. Yum!
Baked Veggie Mac and Cheese via Semi-Vegetarian.com

Baked Veggie Mac and Cheese
Serves 10
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 oz block medium cheddar
  2. 2 cups milk
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 tablespoons flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (powdered kind)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  8. 1 can great northern beans
  9. 12 oz bag frozen California vegetable medley (mix of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  10. 1 cup frozen peas
  11. 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  12. 3 cups small whole wheat pasta (shells, elbows, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well
  3. While the pasta is cooking, thaw the frozen California vegetable medley in the microwave and chop finely
  4. Shred the cheese and puree the beans in a food processor (add a drizzle of water if the beans are not pureeing well) *
  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat
  6. Once melted, add the flour, whisk it in to the melted butter, and allow the flour to cook for 30 seconds to a minute
  7. Add the milk while whisking to break up and dissolve any bits of flour
  8. Add the dry mustard, paprika, and black pepper and whisk again
  9. As the milk mixture begins to foam and bubble (do not allow it to simmer or boil!), turn off the heat and whisk in the shredded cheddar and bean puree.
  10. Whisk or stir until smooth
  11. Add the cooked pasta, chopped vegetable medley, and frozen peas (no need to thaw) and mix very well
  12. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and top with Panko breadcrumbs
  13. Bake for 30 minutes and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. * If you don't have a food processor available, mash the beans very well with a fork
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