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Mac and cheese recipes

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Hidden veggies in mac and cheese

Macaroni and cheese is always a hit. If you have a hard time getting kids to eat vegetables, hide them in a delicious mac and cheese recipe! Vegephobes won't know that this mac and cheese recipe harbors a can of carrots. The carrots are pureed so that they disappear into yellow cheddar camouflage. Once you make this base mac and cheese recipe, you can add your own ingredients to make it your own. Here is our base mac and cheese recipe and some ideas for variations.

Tasty mixed up mac and cheese

In addition to the base recipe, this mac and cheese dish has three recipe variations for adventurous eaters – Pasta Florentine adds some garlic, spinach and Parmesan cheese; there's a hint of spicy brown mustard in the Ham and Cheese variation; and Shrimp Parmesan is enhanced with a can of baby shrimp and the scent of extra-virgin olive oil. The already-cooked, nutrient-rich canned ingredients help you go from the pantry to the dinner table with four unique dishes in no time at all.

1

Tasty mixed-up mac and cheese

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) sliced carrots, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (18 oz each) ready-to-serve, low -sodium or regular creamy mushroom soup
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded, Colby jack cheese
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, slightly cooled
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • non-stick spray oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Purée the carrots in a blender or food processor, adding enough soup to keep the mixture smooth.
  3. Combine the soup-carrot mixture, the remaining soup and egg in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the cheese and macaroni, and season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with spray oil. Scrape the macaroni and cheese mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more until bubbling around the edges.
  5. Serve as-is, or stir one of the following mixtures into two portions, or approximately 3 cups, of the mac and cheese.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 420; Total fat 16g; Saturated fat 7g; Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 330mg; Carbohydrate 52g; Fiber 3g; Protein 17g; Vitamin A 120% DV*; Vitamin C 4% DV; Calcium 25% DV; Iron 15% DV

2

Pasta florentine

Preparation time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup drained, canned, unsalted, chopped spinach
  • 3 cups hot mac and cheese (from recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded, imported Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 10 seconds. Add the spinach and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir into 2 portions, or approximately 3 cups, of hot mac and cheese along with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 470; Total fat 20 g; Saturated fat 8g; Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 430mg; Carbohydrate 54g; Fiber 4g; Protein 20g; Vitamin A 230%DV*; Vitamin C 15%DV; Calcium 40%DV; Iron 20%DV

3

Macaroni, ham and cheddar

Preparation time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces lean, low-sodium baked ham, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 3 cups hot mac and cheese (from recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Mix the ham, cheese and mustard with 2 portions, or approximately 3 cups, of hot mac and cheese, and serve.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 510; Total fat 22g; Saturated fat 10g; Cholesterol 90mg; Sodium 720mg; Carbohydrate 53g; Fiber 3g; Protein 26g; Vitamin A 120%DV*; Vitamin C 4%DV; Calcium 25%DV; Iron 20%DV

4

Pasta shrimp parmesan

Cook time: 3 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup canned pasta sauce
  • 2 ounces canned, tiny shrimp, drained
  • 3 cups hot mac and cheese (from recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded, imported Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-heat. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 10 seconds. Add the pasta sauce and shrimp, and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir into 2 portions, or approximately 3 cups, of hot mac and cheese along with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 520; Total fat 21g; Saturated fat 8g; Cholesterol 135mg; Sodium 840mg; Carbohydrate 59g; Fiber 4g; Protein 25g; Vitamin A 130%DV*; Vitamin C 6%DV; Calcium 35%DV; Iron 20%DV

* Daily Value

Recipes provided by Mealtime.org as part of their One Recipe, Four Ways collection.

More Sneaky vegetable recipes

Vegetables in disguise
Kid-friendly vegetable recipes
Ways to sneak vegetables into family meals

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