Take everyone’s cheesy favorite side dish and turn it into a meal with this easy roasted veggie mac and cheese recipe.
Deliciously creamy pasta filled with nostalgic flavors everyone loves will become a family-favorite meal.
Roasted Veggie Mac and Cheese
We can all agree that mac and cheese is delicious, but for nights where you want more nutrition than the powdery out-of-the-box staple, this simple roasted veggie mac and cheese version always hits the spot.
Easy to find veggies like zucchini and cherry tomatoes and roasted quickly on a sheet pan while you cook the pasta and prep the sauce, making this recipe perfect for any night of the week.
Easy-to-find pantry staples are just the ingredients you’ll need to make this veggie mac and cheese. Specifically, grab:
- Zucchini: takes on the flavors of any dish you include it in.
- Cherry tomatoes: a favorite option for kids.
- Olive oil: tossed with the veggies, so they roast to golden brown perfection.
- Italian seasoning: to flavor the veggies.
- Garlic: makes everything taste better.
- Flour: to thicken the cheese sauce.
- Milk: gives the sauce a creamy and velvety consistency. All out? See how to make creamy mac and cheese with no milk here.
- Shredded cheese: Cheddar is king, but you can use your favorite blends like Italian cheese blend or Cheddar Jack.
- Red pepper flakes: for a hint of heat!
Remember to check the recipe card for the ingredient measurements and detailed instructions.
Mac and Cheese Veg Recipe
Making the coziest veggie mac and cheese goes a little like this:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and chop the veggies.
Place the veggies onto a lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Roast until the veggies are tender; transfer the veggies to a plate.
- Start the pasta
Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- Make the sauce
In the same pot, heat additional oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook before adding the flour. Cook for a minute before stirring in the milk and red pepper flakes.
- Say cheese!
Once the milk mixture is thickened, stir in the cheese until the sauce is smooth.
- Stir and bake
Add the veggies and pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
Now all you have to do is serve this with an everyday side salad, and dinner is set!
Best Veggies for Mac and Cheese
Want to add more veggies or swap out the ones in this recipe with options your family will like better? The list below provides more tasty ideas; just roast them just as you would the zucchini and tomato and carry on!
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets: tastes delish with the cheese.
- 2-3 cups cauliflower florets: are camouflaged by the cheese sauce flavors. It’s an excellent option for picky eaters.
- 2 cups diced carrots: make sure to roast them long enough, about 30 minutes.
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash: another veggie with mild flavor; you could even puree it and stir it into the sauce.
- 1 cup green peas: popular with the kids and tastes great in mac and cheese.
Making the Sauce Creamy
One of the keys to making the cheese sauce creamy is to make sure the milk has fully incorporated with the flour, into a thick liquid, before adding the cheese, which is whisked until it has melted into the sauce.
How to Store Leftovers
If it’s a winner for dinner, it’s a winner for lunch so any veggie mac and cheese leftovers can be packed inside a thermos, after being heated up properly, for lunch the next day.
Related: How to Use a Thermos for Hot Lunches