Veggie Mac & Cheese

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

If your kids love mac & cheese like my grandkids, try this recipe.  It’s loaded with veggies but also has the great mac & cheese taste that both kids and adults love as well. If you can’t get the kids to eat whole wheat pasta, substitute ½ whole wheat with regular pasta until they get used to eating whole grain pasta.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  378 calories, 20 grams protein, 8 grams of fat,  61 grams of CHO, 9 grams dietary fiber, 405 mg sodium.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes Bake Time: 20 minutes

Serves:  6


  • 8 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni or shells
  • 1 ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 grated carrots (about  1 cup)
  • 1 (16 oz) bag of frozen peas
  • ¾ lb (12 oz) frozen cooked sweet potatoes or winter squash, thawed
  • 1 ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 ¼ cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup fresh 100% whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray  3-quart baking dish.  Prepare macaroni according to the package directions.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat while macaroni is cooking. Add onions and grated carrots and cook until tender about 5 minutes. Stir in peas sweet potatoes and milk. Bring mixture to a simmer.  Add shredded cheese, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Drain macaroni.  Add to cheese mixture and stir until well mixed.  Toss bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake about 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.  Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.


Shopping List

  • 8 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni or shells
  • olive oil
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 fresh carrots
  • 1 (16 oz) bag of frozen peas
  • ¾ lb (12 oz) frozen cooked sweet potatoes
  • skim milk
  • reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 100% whole wheat breads
  • grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese


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Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition,, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 12 grandchildren.    




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