Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies

 Mac and cheese with hidden veggies… I promise they won’t know, husbands included. 

If you are a parent, than there is no doubt in my mind at some point or another you’ve struggled with getting your kids to eat their veggies!

I like to think that since the time my babes were little, I’ve positively encouraged healthy eating and have been a good example to them… but even with this effort; sometimes kids just don’t like them.  Sometimes it’s the taste, sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes it’s just the mere look of those veggies, and sometimes they just like to remind you who’s really the “boss!”

Well this just doesn’t work for this nutrition nut, I’ve been mildly successful at sneaking veggies into some of my kid’s favorite dishes… and I’m tellin’ you, they HAVE NO CLUE!!!

So, I thought I’d share with you all!  Here’s my recipe for Mac and Cheese with  hidden veggies and you know what’s hidden in it? YELLOW SQUASH! Shhh…. Yes, and it’s actually delish (even my hubby likes it!)  It gives the dish a hint of sweetness, especially when yellow squash is in season!

It can even be made gluten free!  See details at the bottom of the post ↓

Mac and Cheese with squash

Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies

Serves 5
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly
This recipe has a crunchy top and a cheesy, yummy center. A comfort food that's healthy and kid friendly! Mac and cheese with hidden veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cup Dried elbow macaroni ((8 ounces))
  • 1/2 cup Chopped onion ((1 Medium))
  • 1 Small Yellow Squash ((Sliced))
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fresh black pepper
  • 2.5 cups Milk
  • 1.5 cups Colby Jack cheese- cubed ((6 ounces of a brick))
  • 1.5 cups American cheese - cubed ((6 ounces of a brick))

Optional

  • handful Buttery round crackers

Note

Please try and use all organic or GMO free ingredients when possible!

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350F and start a pot of water for the noodles.
Step 2
Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a medium/large sauté/saucepan, sauté squash and onion in butter over medium heat long enough to soften slightly. About 5 minutes.
Step 3
Once the squash and onions are soft, stir in flour and pepper. Add the milk all at once and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.

Next I pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and puree to even out the texture.*

**this step is optional and I have made it without doing this and it's just as yummy, just make sure your squash and onions are chopped small, otherwise those little detectives will be suspicious ;)**
Step 4
Pour the pureed mixture back into the pan and add all your cubed cheeses and continue stirring until completely melted.
Step 5
Stir in cooked macaroni and then transfer mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
Step 6
While it's baking, take a sandwich/freezer baggie and crush up about 7-10 buttery round crackers. I toss them in a few teaspoons of butter in my sauté pan and add them to the top of the casserole 5 minutes before it's done!

 

If you’d like to make this recipe gluten free, which I do every now and again.  I use these in replacement of traditional pasta and they really are good and my family doesn’t even mind!  Also, a good way to ‘sneak’ in another super healthy grain- Quinoa!

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Please, as always, comment with any questions and share!

Health and love to you!

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