This zucchini mac and cheese recipe has something for everyone! Mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food, combines with good-for-you zucchini for a delicious, satisfying meal that both kids and adults alike will love.
If your kids are anything like mine, they would happily eat nothing but mac and cheese. It's by far the most requested food in our house. In fact just yesterday I came in from working in the garden around lunchtime, with my arms overflowing with all sorts of gorgeous fruits and veggies. I asked the kids what they'd like for lunch, and almost in unison, they all exclaimed, "mac and cheese!" And thus, this recipe for zucchini mac and cheese was born.
Why You'll Love Zucchini Mac and Cheese
- Zucchini mac and cheese is a flavorful, made-from-scratch meal that is sophisticated enough to serve at dinner parties, yet casual enough for serving up as a kid-friendly lunch.
- It helps you get closer to that 5-a-day goal. You'll sneak in those extra servings of vegetables without even noticing, as the shredded zucchini adds a lovely, buttery flavor to this rich and creamy dish.
- This is a great way to use up all that summer zucchini! When mid summer rolls around, you probably have more zucchini than you know what to do with (I know I do). So break out of the zucchini bread rut and make this instead. And if you shred your extra garden bounty and store it in the freezer, you can easily make zucchini mac and cheese all year long.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
We all consider zucchini to be good for us, but most of us may not know exactly why. Zucchini is a vegetable that is extremely high in fiber and water, which makes it both hydrating and filling. It also contains a significant amount of the vitamins B6, C, and K it also is an excellent source of the important minerals potassium and manganese. And, one cup of chopped zucchini contains just 21 calories.
Tips for Making Zucchini Mac and Cheese
- I used traditional elbow macaroni, but you can make this with your favorite pasta shape. Penne, shells, or bow tie pasta are all great options.
- When making the roux, make sure to whisk constantly while slowly adding the milk. This will keep the roux smooth and lump-free.
- For a great flavor variation, try making this recipe with a ½ cup of cheddar cheese and ½ cup of parmesan.
More Great Pasta Recipes
- 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring regularly.
Whisk in flour to make a roux. Flour will absorb the butter making it look chunky.
Slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly to combine.
Stir in shredded zucchini and cheese. Cook sauce over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened.
Add cooked macaroni, toss with sauce and serve!