This Veggie Mac and Cheese is a healthier spin on mac and cheese but with all the comfort food goodness. With four different types of tender veggies, you’ll get your fill on nutrients! But don’t worry – this mac and cheese with veggies is cheesy-delicious-good. Totally a thing.

Veggie Mac and cheese with four different types of vegetables in a white bowl

Table of Contents

The Story Behind the Recipe

This veggie mac and cheese recipe was contributed by the fabulous Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen, and she shares her story behind the recipe here.

I married a first-generation Greek. His go to comfort meal is “pita” (basically Spanikopita and every other variation of it) that his mom would make from scratch every week, not a simple thing like American meatloaf or some creamy casserole. Despite the fact that I love being in the kitchen and cooking, made-from-scratch phyllo dough and Greek dishes that try and compete with my mother-in-law’s are just not something I’m willing to do.

So for (almost) 10 years now, when I want to make a dinner I know he’ll love, my go-to is mac and cheese, the one “true” American meal he actually likes.

Veggie Mac and cheese with four different types of vegetables in a white bowl with a spoon in it

Why You’ll Love This Veggie Mac & Cheese Recipe

Well, first of all, it’s SO easy to make!

This Veggie Lovers’ Stovetop Mac & Cheese recipe is literally a one-pot meal. No roux needed and not even a colander in sight.

If you have leftover cooked vegetables on hand, even better, just throw them in. If not, a simple quick steam (I used the microwave for convenience) is all you need.

One word of caution though, this is definitely a time sensitive recipe so have all your prep work done before starting and make sure the cheese is grated and ready to go.

Readers say …
“I cooked this the other day. Was easy and delicious. Definitely one to add to the recipe book.”

– Tanner


  • Pasta – I like whole wheat pasta to make this veggie mac and cheese a little more wholesome.
  • Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and frozen peas – four veggies packed in! YES!
  • Milk – I like whole milk for this recipe which adds a nice richness
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, salt, and pepper – adds lovely flavor to mac and cheese.
  • Gouda, sharp cheddar, and parmesan cheeses – This trio is glorious in mac and cheese, but you can use just cheddar or even swap in some gruyere.
  • Breadcrumbs – makes a nice topping if you like.

How to Make Veggie Mac & Cheese

First, steam the veggies so that they’re tender.

Then, add the liquid ingredients to a large pot and stir in the pasta. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened.

Stir in the cheese, and then the veggies.

That’s it! So easy, right?!

Veggie Mac and cheese with four different types of vegetables in a white bowl with a spoon in it

What to Serve with Veggie Mac & Cheese

More Mac & Cheese Recipes

This veggie mac and cheese is so creamy, cheesy and decadent even meat-and-potatoes types won’t care that it’s loaded up with veggies. Although, a little sprinkling of crispy chopped bacon on top wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world if that’s your thing.

Veggie Lovers' Stovetop Mac and Cheese
3.50 from 2 votes

Veggie Mac & Cheese

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Author: Kare
Do you love cheese-smothered veggies? And do you dig mac and cheese? Then this creamy, cheesy, veggie-packed mac and cheese recipe is for you. Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and carrots join up with whole-wheat pasta plus three cheeses for comfort food with a veg-heavy twist. 


  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2-3 medum carrots (peeled and chopped (1 cup))
  • 8 ounces whole wheat rotini (or similar shape pasta)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 6 ounces gouda cheese (shredded (about 1 1/2 cups))
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (shredded (about 1 cup))
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (shredded (about 1/2 cup))
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs for topping
  • Red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)


  • Steam the veggies. Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water. Set a vegetable steamer inside and set over high heat. Place the veggies on the steamer. (If you don’t have a vegetable steamer, just place the vegetables directly in the water). Cook, covered, until the vegetables are lightly tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Set aside. You can also steam the veggies in the microwave by adding them to a microwave-safe bowl along with about 1/4 cup of water. Top with a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for about 3 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Be careful when removing the plate – lots of steam will escape!
  • Make the mac and cheese. (Note: Have all of your cheeses grated and ready at this point!) Place the milk, pasta and seasonings in a medium stock pot (you’ll want a pot with high sides because you’ll be adding everything to this pot later) over medium-low heat.
  • Stirring often so pasta doesn’t stick, cook until pasta is al dente (time will vary by brand/shape) and milk starts to thicken.
  • Remove the pot from heat. Slowly sprinkle in the grated cheese, stirring constantly, until melted.
  • Add the vegetables and stir gently until everything is well combined and coated in the milk and cheese sauce. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve. Spoon into bowls and top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and/or red pepper flakes.


Meat option:

Top individual servings with cooked, chopped bacon.
Recipe contributed by Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen

Share or save:

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the proceeds. More about this here.