Spicy Vegetarian Mac-n-Cheese

Don’t let the words spicy scare you…. my kids were able to have a few bites of this dish. I made this dish for my husband and I. Why?  Because sometimes we just want adult version of our childhood favorites. I love macaroni and cheese, but it has to have vegetables in our home. This mac and cheese recipe is so full of flavor and it is good. With the addition of vegetables, this dish truly becomes a one dish meal.

Spicy Vegetables Mac-n-Cheese
  • 2 cups dried macaroni or any pasta you prefer
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup cubed red pepper
  • ½ cup cubed green pepper
  • 1 ½ cups frozen spinach
  • 1 medium size shallot minced
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 cups Monterey jack and cheddar shredded cheese , or any blend you like
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅔ teaspoon salt
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook the Macaroni as per package instructions for al dente with a little salt and olive oil. I used the pasta from the Trader Joe’s Wisconsin Cheddar Mac n Cheese. I cooked the pasta for 5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium size pan on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt and cook the mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add the cream.
  5. Add the bell peppers, black pepper and chili flakes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, soy sauce, white vinegar and ketchup.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and mix in with the vegetables. Turn off the heat and add the shredded cheese to the pasta and vegetables. Mix well.
  7. Pour the macaroni into the casserole. Level the mixture and sprinkle the bread crumbs and small pieces of the 1 tablespoon of butter on top.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F and then broil for 1 minute to give it a golden color on top.

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