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Growing up, I didn’t eat Kraft Mac&Cheese. Not unless I was at someone else’s house. My mom couldn’t stand the smell of it and gagged. She ate it all the time as a kid, to the point where it was gross.
So the typical ‘kid comfort food’ wasn’t common in our house, and as an adult, I still am not a huge fan of the boxed stuff, even though they removed a lot of the bad bad stuff recently, it’s still not very good for you. My kids don’t really enjoy the boxed stuff either; they prefer to eat this version with all the veggies and flavor instead!
Throw your macaroni into boiling water for 10 minutes until al dente.
And while the pasta is cooking, roast some veggies on a cookie sheet in the oven. Mix up your cheese sauce.
I like shredded carrot, it keeps the carrot sweet and doesn’t mess with the creamy texture of the end product.
I almost exclusively use frozen chopped spinach, as fresh tends to spoil on me before we can consume it. An easy way to quickly use it, is to run cold water over it in a colander inside a bowl. As it defrosts, pull it up on the sides of the colander. Squeeze out as much water as you can before using.
Excuse my hideous oven!
Bake until cheese is melted and all contents reach an internal temp of 165° F
- 16 ounces package elbow macaroni
- 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 can (12 oz.) Evaporated Milk
- ¾ cup each: chopped broccoli, shredded carrots, chopped butternut squash
- ¾ cup frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1 tsp finely minced garlic
- ⅓ cup caramelized sweet Vidalia onions, chopped
- 1 tsp dry mustard or 2 tsp. prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¾ cup butter crackers, crushed
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ⅓ cup pimento pepper, chopped
- Place uncooked macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
- Spread macaroni in a 1½-quart casserole dish. Top with spinach and pimento, if using.
- Spread broccoli, squash, and carrots on a cookie sheet, roast slightly.
- Place in casserole with noodles and spinach; stir to mix.
- In a medium saucepan add butter and roast garlic, add remaining ingredients.
- Stir over low heat until cheese is completely melted. Pour over macaroni.
- Top with more cheese or crushed butter crackers cut with softened butter, if desired.
- Bake in 350°F oven 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
If you’ve made this recipe; I’d love to see a picture!
Just tag it with #EmmmmerzEatz and I’ll re-share!