Vegetable-Filled Macaroni and Cheese

This lightened up vegetable-filled macaroni and cheese is packed with tons of green veggies! With greek yogurt and cottage cheese to add creaminess, it’s a delicious take on the classic dish!

A bowl of Vegetable-Filled Macaroni and Cheese set on a green plate.

Note: This recipe is NOT dairy free. It was published before Cook Nourish Bliss transitioned to dairy free recipes and remains popular with long time readers. You can try using substitutions to make it dairy free, however I have not tested this myself and can’t say how it will turn out.

Looking for a new spin on classic mac and cheese?  Especially one that is full of veggies and won’t completely get your New Year’s resolutions off track?  

This mac and cheese still has plenty of cheesy goodness, so don’t worry.  

While it’s not exactly overly healthy, you can feel better about eating it since it is packed with greens and other good-for-you ingredients.

A bowl of Veggie-Filled Mac and Cheese with a fork to the side.

Now, promise me you won’t go running away when you see that greek yogurt and cottage cheese are part of this recipe.  

While they may seem a bit strange, they blend in so well with the cheddar and give the dish some creaminess and just a hint of tang that makes it a little different.  In a good way.  

And I bet that you won’t even notice them in the final dish!

We’re not really big mac and cheese people in our house, but this version is one that I can definitely get behind.

Pair it with a salad and you’ve got an easy weeknight meal to add to your rotation.  You’re welcome : )

A bowl of Veggie Mac and Cheese set on a green plate.

Additional Baked Pasta Recipes You Might Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Vegetable-Filled Macaroni and Cheese

Vegetable-Filled Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: about 4 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This lightened up vegetable-filled macaroni and cheese is packed with tons of green veggies! With greek yogurt and cottage cheese to add creaminess, it's a delicious take on the classic dish!

Ingredients

  • 13 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups roughly chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and then place in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the onion. Cook until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and broccoli and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Next add in the zucchini and mushrooms and cook until the veggies are tender, another 5 to 8 minutes. If needed, add in another 1 teaspoon olive oil to keep them from sticking to the pan. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and pepper.
  5. Add the vegetable mixture to the large bowl with the pasta. Next add in the cottage cheese, yogurt and 1 ½ cups of the cheddar cheese. Mix until well combined.
  6. Spread the mixture in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheddar.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Notes

Adapted from the now defunct blog Cate's World Kitchen

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 37mg Sodium: 580mg Carbohydrates: 24g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 4g Protein: 16g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.