Veggie Mac & Cheese

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Do all your prep first (cut veggies, shred cheese) and this 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. 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 cheddar, shredded by hand
  • 2 cups each broccoli & purple cauliflower, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 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. Stir drained pasta into sauce followed by the broccoli, cauliflower & tomatoes, salt & pepper.

Notes: To include spinach, just put 2 cups of baby spinach in the strainer before you drain the pasta. Then stir the pasta and wilted spinach into the sauce. For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

15 Comments on "Grown Up Mac & Cheese"

  1. Patricia

    I just made this dish. The recipe calls for cheddar cheese. I had gruyere/swiss cheese, not cheddar. I think cheddar or colby jack would make it even better. I added dry mustard and onion powder, along with some parmesan cheese. This is definitely yummy on a cold wintry night in Wisconsin. It was fun to make too.

  2. CJ8

    JENNY, YOU SURE CAN COOK! I have used your website again and again since seeing your beautiful familiar face and hearing that familiar smiling voice (watched your show years ago).. My husband (who is Polish) and I enjoy your recipes, I have made so many, really appreciate that they are more heart healthy, and your enthusiasm makes it even more enjoyable. Thank you for sharing, God bless you!

  3. Shelburn

    Just made this recipe for our evening meal. It was very good, but not really quick for me. Enjoy your site and have made quite a few recipes . In general they have come out great and Any problems I have had could probably be attributed to me. My dear grandmother taught me to cook creatively!!! And measureing instruments where hardly ever used! She was an artist at improvising. Keep up your recipies………
    Love cooking with you!!

  4. Cassandra

    Hi Jenny, Who knew it could be so fast to make Mac & Cheese?! Bravo- BTW your BBQ sauce it Awesome!!!!

  5. Candy

    Jenny, ive tried a few of your recipes and I love them, healthy comfort food we all enjoy. Thank you for putting these recipes out. I was growing tired of my recipes and needed to change it up a bit.

  6. notacook!

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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..

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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..

  12. 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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