Mac and cheese is one of our favorite comfort foods, but while the creaminess of the classic can't be beat, we love to add a little something special to ours from time to time. These vegetable mac and cheese recipes offer a bit more color and all-important vitamins, making this comfort food dish the perfect complete vegetarian meal for Meatless Monday.
First up is a seasonal fall favorite: butternut squash makes a great addition to mac and cheese for a few reasons. Its natural creaminess adds great texture to the sauce without added fat, and the sweetness of the squash plays off the melted cheese quite well. This butternut squash mac and cheese also includes a flavorful hazelnut crumble, standing in for the more traditional breadcrumbs.
Macaroni and Cheese Image from Shutterstock
Our sweet potato macaroni and cheese offers an even sweeter twist, with sweet potatoes folded into the macaroni and béchamel mixture. Flavorful cheeses can stand up to the richness of sweet potato, which is why we suggest two: extra sharp cheddar and feta. This combination makes for a super flavorful recipe.
Spinach mac and cheese image via Shutterstock
Take mac and cheese and add creamed spinach, and this is what you get: a creamy, decadent macaroni and cheese dish richly flavored with gruyère cheese. Instead of spinach, you could also add kale to the recipe for a slightly earthier flavor, or you could even add a bit of arugula to the mix for a peppery touch.
Images by Ally Jane Grossan
This macaroni and cheese recipe is highlighted by cauliflower in two forms: roasted and puréed. The roasted cauliflower adds a touch of nutty sweetness, while the purée adds a silkiness to the sauce that allows you to leave out added fat and cream. The resulting dish is full of flavor and nutrients and positively perfect for your Meatless Monday table.
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Squash mac and cheese image via Shutterstock