Hidden Vegetable Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese in a meal prep container

Hidden Vegetable Mac and Cheese

This Mac and Cheese is macro friendly with 50 grams of protein and is full of nutrients from vegetables hidden in the cheese sauce. The sauce is made up of carrots, cauliflower, milk, and cheese.

PREP TIME

30 Minutes

COOK TIME

30 Minutes

Per Serving – Makes 6

596 Calories

54g C | 50g P | 20g F

THE RECIPE

Mac and cheese in a meal prep container

Hidden Vegetable Mac and Cheese

4.60 from 42 votes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, meal prep
Keyword: chicken, free, freezer friendly, gluten free, meal prep
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 596kcal
This Mac and Cheese is macro friendly with 50 grams of protein and is full of nutrients from vegetables hidden in the cheese sauce. The sauce is made up of carrots, cauliflower, milk, and cheese.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (908 g) boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 12 oz (340 g) macaroni noodles gluten free if needed
  • 1 lb (454 g) frozen cauliflower
  • 3 medium (300 g) carrots
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) oil
  • 8 oz (227 g) cheddar cheese block is best
  • 2 cups (480 g) pasta water
  • cups (360 g) 2% milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • any other seasoning you like is optional

Instructions

For the Vegetables

  • Wash and cut your carrots into smaller pieces so that they roast quicker.
  • On a lightly oiled sheet pan, place the carrots and frozen cauliflower. Drizzle over 1 tbsp of oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Roast at 425°F (218°C) for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way through.

For the Chicken

  • Trim the excess fat and skin from the chicken and either cut or pound the chicken so that is even in thickness throughout. I shoot for about ½" in thickness.
  • Season both sides lightly with salt and pepper and place onto a sheet pan. Place into the oven at 425°F for 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Once the chicken has finished, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into a very small dice.

For the Macaroni

  • Cook the macaroni according to the packaging. Shoot for just past al dente on the doneness. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water for your cheese sauce.
  • Once cooked, rinse and store in cold water to stop the cooking process until you are ready to use later.

For the Cheese Sauce

  • NOTE: If you wanted to add a bit of mustard powder, paprika, or another spice you could certainly do that. I like to personally keep it to salt and pepper but you should make it how you like it
  • Shred your block of cheese using a box grater or food processor.
  • Once the vegetables have finished roasting, place them into a blender with 2 cups of pasta water, cups of milk, and about ⅘ of all of the cheese you just shredded. Blend on high speed for 30-60s or until smooth.

For the Mac & Cheese

  • In a 13"x9" baking dish, pour about half of the cheese sauce into the bottom.
  • Drain the water away from your macaroni and dump the noodles into the pan.
  • Add in the chopped chicken and pour the remaining cheese sauce over the top.
  • Stir to evenly distribute the cheese sauce and give it a taste test. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Mix again if necessary.
  • Top the dish with the remaining shredded cheese and place back into the oven at 425°F for 10 minutes to brown the cheese and thicken the sauce. For the last two minutes, I like to turn the oven to broil to help the cheese brown.

Plating

  • This recipe makes 6 servings. Cut the dish into 6 equal portions and place into each meal prep container. Top with chopped parsley for a garnish if you wish.

Nutrition

Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 20g

NUTRITION INFO

The information in the following table are estimates for the total nutrition of the recipe, as written.  If you follow the recipe listed above, as written, you can use these tables to determine the nutrition information if you wanted to split the recipe, as written, into more or less servings than what is originally listed.  If you update the number of servings in the “Servings” field of the recipe above, the information in these tables are no longer accurate as you have updated the ingredients.

Servings
Carbs
325g
Protein
302g
Fat
120g
Calories
3588 cals

Other recipes you might like

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Bradley

    Is there anything different you would need to do to fresh cauliflower if you can’t find frozen?

    1. Joey

      Just buy fresh one, cut them down to small pieces. Remove excess stalk et voila.

  2. Shawn H

    5 stars
    Delicious and healthy!

  3. Porter

    Really tasty, threw a couple jalepenos in with the carrots and cauliflower, nice little bump of heat for any spice lovers out there

  4. Matt

    5 stars
    Made this tonight, and it was really good. Ended up using unflavored oatmilk instead of of 2% and used some gluten free rice pasta shells. Ended up accidently pouring the pasta water out and had to substitute chicken broth for the 2 cups of pasta water (hoping it was an OK equivalent).

    Ended up tasting really good. I want to try a jalapeno version like Porter said!

  5. Nave Amitay

    5 stars
    Big vibes

  6. Andreas

    Add nutmeg, smoked paprika, and dry mustard to the sauce and lots of salt and pepper.

    And I also roasted 3 big Anaheim or poblano peppers. Tbh I had no idea what they were other because they were written in Chinese and noone spoke enlgish in the grocery.

    The sauce actually makes a really killer soup if you don’t add it to the macaroni.

    The flavour is good, it was alot of cleaning and prepping but I’ve been eatting the firecracker beef and Brussels for 2 months straight for lunch and dinner so I don’t mind the change.

    Down 30 pounds. My bank account is larger. Thanks man. I can’t believe I waited until I was in my 30s to realize the power of meal prep.

  7. Brent Movson

    3 stars
    For a healthy version of mac n cheese I would say it is a keeper in the cookbook

  8. Rachel

    5 stars
    Wow! This recipe is fantastic. Would love to see an alfredo take on it, when you get a chance (or anything else you can think of!)!

  9. Dylan Sanchez

    I did not expect this to turn out as good as it did! thank you for your meals, they have been a big help in my weight loss journey 🙂

  10. Daniel Jones

    5 stars
    I know you don’t like broccoli but I do, so I substituted the cauliflower with it. The sauce came out looking like a baby poop color. It didn’t look good but it tasted pretty damn good.

  11. Vivienne Manning

    5 stars
    I made this exactly as written other than adding a small amount of mustard to the sauce. It is absolutely delicious and I will definitely make again.

  12. Sean

    I skip adding the 2 cups of starch water and add Buffalo sauce. Very good that way

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating