My kids absolutely love mac and cheese, well really what kid doesn’t?! The problem is, mac and cheese is not the healthiest option. Loading them up full of milk and cheese might give them a lot of protein but doesn’t always have the best end result as it lacks vitamins and minerals.
So how do you feed your kids one of their favorite meals while making sure they are still getting all the good things their body needs? You make a delicious hidden veggie recipe so you know you’re getting some other goodness mixed in with the protein, fat and carbohydrates!
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Hidden Veggie? In Mac and Cheese?!” What vegetable could you possibly hide in a macaroni and cheese dish?!
Yep! I hide butternut squash, full of vitamins and minerals like A, C, Magnesium, and B-6, in their creamy macaroni and cheese!
I suppose you could also use other quash varieties but I like the butternut for it’s slightly sweet taste and creamy texture.
Let’s talk ingredients for a moment.
This recipe uses whole, natural ingredients – to make it as healthy and chemical free as possible. You will need milk and cheese for this recipe. We drink whole milk as it is less processed than the lower fat milks and for this recipe I chose a natural white cheddar. When it comes to pasta I like organic whole wheat pasta or brown rice pasta.
Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup Butternut Squash Puree
- 2 cups Natural White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
- 16oz organic whole wheat (or brown rice) pasta
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
Preheat Oven to 350
First you’re going to need to make your butternut squash puree. To do this you will need to peel your squash (I use a potato peeler) and cut it into 1″ cubes. (hint: don’t want to cut the squash? You can often find this pre-diced and sold in a bag ready to cook) Boil the squash in a covered pot until soft. Use your food processor or blender (I use my Ninja) to puree the squash.
Next, cook your pasta so it is ready to mix with our sauce.
Make your sauce base my melting butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the flour and cook until it starts to bubble. Slowly add your milk in while stirring to make sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes until it starts to thicken.
Add in Garlic, Salt, Pepper, and Ground Mustard. Stir your squash into your sauce base.
Add your cheese and stir to combine into a smooth, creamy sauce.
Mix your cheese sauce with cooked pasta and spread into a 13 x 9 baking dish.
Cover with foil (if you don’t like the edges to get crunchy) and bake for 30 min.