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.
- Shelled Pasta: ziti, penne, and macaroni are great options!
- 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.
Watch this video to see the veggie mac magic happen!
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
What to Serve With It
Veggie Mac and Cheese
- 2 medium zucchinis, sliced in half moons
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 12 ounces shelled pasta of choice, ziti, penne, macaroni, etc.
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheese, divided
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the zucchinis and tomatoes on the baking sheet, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and Italian seasoning, and roast them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Once they are tender, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. Once the pasta is ready, drain and rinse, and set aside.
- In the same pot, heat up the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds, add the flour, and whisk, cooking the flour for about a minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and the red pepper flakes, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened.
- Turn off the heat, add 1 ½ cups of cheese, and whisk to combine into the mixture. Add the cooked pasta and the roasted veggies to the pot, and combine.
- Transfer the pasta and veggie mixture to a baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese, and place it in the oven under the broiler (set it to BROIL – High) for 2 to 3 minutes, long enough to melt the cheese and form a light brown crust on top.
- Remove from the oven and serve.