April 15, 2013

Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese

We love macaroni and cheese at our house, but I occasionally feel a little guilty just eating it by itself. That's why this rainbow mac and cheese is perfect - it's nice and cheesy, plus it has a full serving of veggies! It's super easy to make (only requires one pot), and it makes enough for dinner and lunch the next day.

Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 3-4
Adapted from here

2 cups milk
2 cups pasta shells*
1/2 tsp garlic salt
dash of parsley
dash of black pepper
2 cups vegetables of your choice, cooked*
1/2 cup gouda, grated*
1/2 cup cheddar, grated
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
dash red pepper flakes

1. Combine milk, pasta, garlic salt, parsley, and black pepper in a sauce pan.
2. Heat mixture on medium, stirring often until pasta has soaked up most of the milk.*
3. Reduce heat to low.
4. Add in cheeses and stir until melted. Add a splash of milk if the sauce seems too thick.
5. Add in veggies and stir.
6. Spoon into individual bowls and top with red pepper flakes if desired.
7. Enjoy!

*Tips and Tricks
  • You can use whatever pasta variety you have on hand - it doesn't have to be shells.
  • I bought a 2-serving pack of frozen veggies and chopped them into smaller pieces once they had finished steaming in the microwave. If you have fresh cooked veggies by all means use them. I was just going for convenience.
  • Try to use freshly grated cheese rather than pre-grated packaged cheese. The freshly grated cheese will be less dry, more flavorful and will yield a creamier sauce.
  • You don't want the pasta to soak up all of the milk because the milk helps make the base for the cheesy sauce. When it looks like there's just a bit of milk left and it's nice and thick, that's when you'll add in the cheeses. This step took about 15+ minutes before I added in the cheese.
  • You have to make sure to stir the milk and pasta! It tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, and you don't want burnt milk and pasta pieces in your mac and cheese.

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