Do your kids love macaroni and cheese but can’t get enough veggies in their diet? If so, this Homemade Veggie Mac and Cheese recipe is for you.
I want to share with you how I began adding an extra serving of veggies to my veggie-averse son’s macaroni and cheese. At first, I read about adding the pureed carrots directly into boxed macaroni and cheese. But what about those of us who don’t want to use boxed mixes? I knew I wanted to make macaroni and cheese at home, but I needed a recipe that was easy, healthy and still allowed me to sneak in the extra vegetables that my kids need.
After some experimenting, I found the perfect cheese combination that allows me to load it up with veggies without my son turning up his nose.
Best Cheese for Mac and Cheese
After lots of taste testing, I settled for a combination of ricotta and sharp cheddar cheese because it keeps the creamy texture my son loves.
I love ricotta cheese because it packs on the calcium and protein he needs to grow (he’s not a big milk drinker either). After much experimenting, I began creating larger batches to freeze ahead. I love knowing I can just go to the freezer and pull out a serving to make an entire dinner!
I will tell you that this doesn’t taste like traditional macaroni and cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is essential to creating the sauce because it intensifies the cheesy flavor and tones down the sweetness from the carrots. Medium cheddar won’t cut it and you’ll have a very sweet tasting sauce.
For more creative ways to encourage picky eaters to try new foods check out my Picky Eaters Course. In it, I’ve combined the best strategies I learned over the years from working with experts to solve my picky eater problem. Get more information here.
If you are looking for a traditional homemade macaroni and cheese recipe, this one is my favorite. But if you’re looking for a way to get more vegetables in the daily diet of your picky eaters, this is the perfect recipe for you!
Veggie Macaroni & Cheese
Can you imagine knowing that a bowl of this cheesy pasta has a serving veggies? This Homemade Veggie Mac and Cheese recipe is one kids will love.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 mintes
- Total Time: 13 - 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Cuisine: Dinner
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped or 1/2 cup carrot puree
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups cooked pasta
- Combine the carrots with 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and steam over medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Add the carrots, ricotta cheese, Cheddar cheese and milk to a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cooked pasta and cheese sauce. Stir to combine and heat over medium for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 275
- Sugar: 8.8 g
- Sodium: 533.1 mg
- Fat: 8.7g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 37.8g
- Fiber: 4.6 g
- Protein: 11.9g
- Cholesterol: 28.8mg
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