Veggie Mac & Cheese

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Get out your biggest pan! Do all your prep first (cut veggies, shred cheese) and this fabulous dinner comes together in 10 minutes. Pre-shredded cheese will not melt the same so please shred your own. Use other pasta shapes or elbows if you like and either purple or white cauliflower, but purple looks better. Steaming the veggies retains the most vitamins. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Grown Up Mac & Cheese


  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I use 1% or 2% low fat milk)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces (about 3 1/4 cups) cavatappi tubular corkscrew pasta

  • 8 ounces reduced fat cheddar, shredded by hand
  • 2 cups each broccoli & cauliflower, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups firmly packed baby spinach (2 oz.)
  • 1 large tomato, diced and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper to taste


  1. Start boiling salted water for pasta.
  2. Place broccoli & cauliflower in a steamer basket & set aside.
  3. Whisk together the milk and flour and place in a large sauté pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook & stir about 5 minutes until thickened. Keep stirring as it can easily burn.
  4. Cook pasta per package directions.
  5. While pasta & sauce cook, steam broccoli & cauliflower for 5 minutes.
  6. When sauce it thick, remove from heat. Stir in cheese until blended.
  7. Place spinach in bottom of strainer and pour pasta over it to drain.
  8. Stir pasta & spinach into sauce followed by the broccoli, cauliflower & tomatoes, salt & pepper.

Notes: For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

9 Comments on "Grown Up Mac & Cheese"

  1. notacook!

    The prep took me sooooo long. Because of that, it wasn’t easy.

  2. Donna

    This is delish!
    Used fresh goats milk from my generous next door neighbor, and fresh picked spinach from the garden. I only had pre-grated chees, so l added a couple ounces of cream cheese that I had on hand. Threw in a little parmesan cheese too! Creamy deliciousness! What a fun recipe! Like a macaroni & cheese CIRCUS!

  3. Rose Gilmour

    Hi Jenny

    Just love all your recipes. Can I use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour for this recipe, thanks have a great day.


      No, that is not a flour to use as a binding agent… You are making the cheese sauce base..

  4. Tricia

    This looks good. Do you think it would have same taste if I made it ahead of time and put it in a casserole dish to warm up in oven for a dinner party?

  5. Mila Bassett

    Great way to wilt the spinach, I never thought of that before!

    To make the sauce even faster, once when I was really pressed for time, I just stirred some flour into milk and pored into the hot pasta pot. Stirred it all up very well aweladded the cheese. Stirred again. I was shocked to see it produce the same results as with my go-to bechamel.

  6. Kathy

    This looks wonderful, and beautiful as well as looking scrumptious …I will try this as I have tried quite a few of your recipes and have never been disappointed…I love that you cook healthy….and I love your passion….keep on keeping on Jenny..

  7. Jeanne

    What is purple in the mixture?

    • Jenny

      It’s purple cauliflower – I mentioned it in the recipe description at the top.

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