Home PSP Health Promotion Macaroni and cheese with vegetables

Macaroni and cheese with vegetables

Photo: Canada's Food Guide (food-guide.canada.ca)

Who doesn’t like mac and cheese?  Choose your vegetables and even alternate the shape of the pasta to make it fun.  Serve with a side and you’re set! 


  • 375 mL (1 ½ cups) whole grain macaroni or fusilli, uncooked
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) soft non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 125 mL (½ cup) finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 125 mL (½ cup) grated zucchini
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) all purpose flour
  • 500 mL (2 cups) skim milk
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) chopped fresh thyme or 2 mL (½ tsp) dried thyme leaves
  • 250 mL (1 cup) shredded lower fat old Cheddar cheese
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of ground pepper


  1. In a pot, bring water to boil. Add macaroni and cook for about 6 minutes or until pasta is tender but firm. Drain well and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat margarine over medium heat and cook onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add carrot, red pepper and zucchini and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Stir in flour and cook, stirring until flour is absorbed. Slowly pour in milk and stir until smooth. Add thyme. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until starting to bubble.
  4. Stir in cheese, mustard and pepper. Remove from heat and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in cooked macaroni until well coated.


  • What kid doesn’t love mac and cheese? Older kids can help grate cheese and zucchini using a box grater.
  • If you don’t have time to cut vegetables in small pieces, cook larger pieces a bit longer until they are tender.
  • To use frozen vegetables, replace carrots, red pepper and zucchini with 500 mL (2 cups) diced, mixed frozen vegetables.
  • Ask your kids to choose what pasta shape they want to use. There are lots to choose from such as penne, scoobi doo, shells and wagon wheels.