Veggie Mac and Cheese (Kid Pleaser)

“This is from a recent airing of Rachel Ray. A great way to get the veggies in there - and a scrumptious way to get your side dishes done!! ;) Hope you enjoy it too! I am sort of slow in the kitchen so it probably takes me longer than she does, I think she did it in under 25 minutes! ***I could not make it that fast, and I have edited times and steps to reflect reviewer responses. Thanks Melissa!!”
READY IN:
30mins
SERVES:
4-6
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Once water is boiling, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta until done to ALMOST al dente, about 7 minutes depending on package directions (you want it a little undercooked).
  3. Preheat broiler and set rack 12 inches from heat.
  4. As the pasta is cooking, heat a deep, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of EVOO and add the bacon.
  5. Cook the bacon until crispy and golden brown.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and hold.
  7. Add another tablespoon EVOO to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan, then add onions,peppers, and zucchini then cook until tender, 4-5 minutes; set aside.
  8. Sprinkle in flour and cook another minute or two before adding the chicken broth (it should look quite pasty and thick).
  9. Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, seasoning with salt and pepper, then stir in the mustard.
  10. Reduce heat and add 1 1/2 cups of each cheese.
  11. Stir to melt, 1 minute.
  12. Adjust seasoning with mustard, salt and pepper, to your taste.
  13. Drain pasta well.
  14. Combine pasta, veggies, cheese sauce, bacon and chopped parsley (if desired), then pour into large casserole and top with remaining cheese.
  15. Transfer to oven at 400 degrees to melt and brown cheese, about 6 minutes, and serve.

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