Growing up, the only mac ‘n’ cheese we really ate was the kind that came in the blue box. But not because my mom couldn’t cook; she’s quite possibly the best cook in the world. Mac ‘n’ cheese night meant Dad was cooking, so we’d eat it right from the pot together with forks in our hands.
Not the most glamorous of memories, but still one I cherish to this day. Although I’ve grown from the blue box mac ‘n’ cheese, this food will always hold a special place in my heart. Now my mac ‘n’ cheese comes loaded with adult additions, like roasted fall vegetables, sharp cheddar and fresh macaroni noodles. But don’t worry, Dad, I still eat it with a fork over the stove.
Roasted veggie fall mac ‘n’ cheese recipe
For the veggies
- About 10-12 Brussels sprouts
- 2 large carrots, cut into quarters
- 2 parsnips, cut into quarters
- 1-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
For the mac ‘n’ cheese
- 3 cups macaroni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Add salt and macaroni. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips and squash together on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Let cool and then chop into bite-size pieces.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pasta sauce by melting the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until just softened. Mix in the flour to form a paste.
- Turning the heat to medium, whisk in the milk gradually. Heat until mixture starts to thicken (it should easily coat the back of a spoon). Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and stir in 2-1/2 cups of cheese until melted. Mix in pasta noodles and vegetables and toss to coat. Pour into a large casserole dish that’s been slightly greased with nonstick cooking spray.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with bread crumbs and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are browned. Serve immediately.