Hidden Vegetable Mac and Cheese
I'm back with another Hidden Vegetable recipe!
I received lots of positive feedback on my Hidden Vegetable Cheddar Broccoli Soup so I am excited to introduce another Hidden Vegetable recipe! As with my other recipe, vegetables get roasted then blended into a creamy sauce you will be shocked to learn doesn't have cream or milk. Then two types of cheese get mixed in with some smoked paprika for outstanding flavor. Cooked pasta (I used shells) then takes a bath in the luscious sauce and it all gets baked with a crisp breadcrumb topping. Delicious!
I still use cauliflower as my main source of creaminess but this time I also include carrots along with garlic and onion. The carrots add a slight earthy flavor and a touch of sweetness. They also give us that traditional boxed "orange" mac and cheese color. You may be wondering if the whole dish tastes like cauliflower? Nope! You will hardly know it is there.
On a personal note, you may have noticed my posts have been a touch delayed and my food photography props have become a bit repetitive. Well, that's because...drum roll please...we're moving!!! Macky and I are so excited to move in just a few weeks. I will continue to publish quality recipes but they may take a few days longer for me to get out until we are all settled. As for the props, just hang in there with me!! I miss my cutting boards and plates just as much as you!
Hidden Vegetable Mac and Cheese
A creamy mac and cheese where vegetables are roasted then blended into a creamy sauce you will be shocked to learn doesn't have cream or milk
Makes: 15 Servings
- 1 medium cauliflower head
- 3 - 4 medium carrots (10 ounces), halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1/2 sweet onion, quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound short cut pasta
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I always use Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar)
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Cut the cauliflower into florets and cut the inner core into small pieces
- Toss the cauliflower, carrots, onion and whole garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
- Roast for approximately 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned
- While the vegetables are roasting, boil a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente - I cooked for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside
- When the vegetables are done cooking, let them cool for a few minutes then add to a blender with the vegetable broth
- Blend the vegetables until completely smooth and creamy
- Add the sauce to a large bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and smoked paprika. Stir in the cheese (it is OK if it doesn't all melt)
- Add the pasta to the bowl and carefully stir. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and extra cheese, if desired
- Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving
- Insider Tip: To make the sauce extra creamy, add 1/4 cup soaked raw cashews to the blender in step 6