Saturday, December 8, 2012

veggie mac + cheese

this is hands down one of the most favorite meals in this house.

we don't make it too often, since it's not exactly good for you {however i feel that the veggies and whole wheat pasta help a little, right?  right? } anyway, when we do make it, it's a real treat.

hope you enjoy!

1 pound whole wheat pasta {we like penne}
2 bell peppers, any color
1 medium sweet onion
2 zucchini squash
6-8 crimini mushrooms
3 cups marinara {homemade or store-bought}
about 1 1/2 cups cheese: any combination of fontina, gruyere, comte or mozz works well
herbs of your choice
salt & pepper
olive oil

*1/2 cup parm
*1 cup breadcrumbs
*1-2 tablespoons butter

*optional ingredients in case you choose to make the breadcrumb topping...we usually leave it off, but it sure is good (:  



*breadcrumbs: melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir the breadcrumbs in to coat with the butter.  stir in the parm, and set aside, off of the heat.

put a large pot of salted water on the stove and start bringing it to a boil. 

next, grate your cheeses and set them aside.

start by washing and then chopping all of your veggies to about the same size: one to one and a half inches is good.  when you cut the onions, make sure you slice them "pole to pole"...this way they won't be stringy as they cook.  

do you know how to wash mushrooms?  i think they're a pain to wipe off with a wet paper towel, but i was always told that you should not soak them, etc...however i found this note that seems to indicate that as long as the dirt is gone, the method used doesn't really matter.  do what you like (:  

arrange the veggies on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and add a little salt and herbs.  i like herbes de provence, however simply adding salt and pepper would be great.  

put the vegetables in a 300 degree oven to roast for about 20 minutes, checking and stirring once in a while...you don't want them to be too brown, just softened a bit.

while the vegetables are roasting, your water should be close to a boil...add your pasta, but only cook for 6-7 minutes {it will cook more while it bakes}. when the pasta has cooked, strain it and place into a {very} large bowl...or you might use two bowls.

when the veggies are roasted, add these to the bowl{s} of pasta.  next, add the cheese and marinara.  mix it up! you want to distribute the cheese evenly over all of the other ingredients.

when everything is mixed, divvy the deliciousness into either one 9x13 baking dish or two smaller baking dishes.
{we use 2 smaller dishes and save one for another day's dinner!}

*if you want to add the breadcrumb topping, top the pasta mixture with the crumbs now and pat lightly.

cover the dishes with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes {ovens vary}...we rotate the dishes while they cook.  when you have about 10 minutes to go, take the foil off to let things brown up a bit.  the crumbs are a good indicator here: when they are golden, you're good to go (:

serve immediately and enjoy!

{if you made two dishes, let the second pan cool, then cover again with foil and pop that in the fridge for another day.  reheat covered at 350.  they keep well for up to 2 days in the fridge}

happy eating!!



  1. That looks amazing! I think I'll be making this next week. And I think this actually looks like a fairly healthy meal. :) Silly.

  2. Of course that is healthy for you!!! There is plenty of veggies in it! :)


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