Butterless Creamy Vegetable Mac and Cheese

This is my second post for new recipes in March. You can see my goals for March here, which include trying out four new recipes. Keep a look out for some St. Patty’s recipes on Sunday! :)

Macaroni and Cheese filled with veggies - no butter! | Puppies in the Kitchen

Last night I made this creamy mac and cheese. Mac and cheese is a staple in our house and every once in a while, I try to make it a little healthier by adding some veggies so the veggie part wasn’t new to me. However, when I saw this recipe for mac and cheese without butter, I had to check it out. The cheese in the dish already contributes enough fat and instead of using butter, I love that this recipe uses olive oil to cut down on cholesterol and saturated fats.

With butter, this recipe would have 391 calories with 13 g saturated fat and 61 mg cholesterol (if divided into 6 servings). Olive oil is still very fatty, but it has healthier fats and less saturated fat. With olive oil in place of butter, the calories remain about the same (395) but the saturated fat drops to 9.3 g and the cholesterol drops to 41 mg. Macaroni and cheese certainly is not the healthiest dish and we don’t have it too often but it is nice to indulge now and again. I do love that I can feel a little better though replacing the butter with olive oil. Last night, I added some cut up chicken breast to this and we had it as our meal, rather than a side. I unfortunately did not have broccoli, which is a favorite with mac and cheese, so we had to do without but this dish was still amazing.

Butterless Creamy Veggie Mac and Cheese | Puppies in the Kitchen

Butterless Creamy Veggie Mac and Cheese

Serves 2-3 as main dish or 6-8 as side dish

  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into small chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 10-15 baby carrots, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta (we like elbows or rotini)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • optional: 2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed; 1 tsp red pepper flakes; 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Butterless Creamy Veggie Mac and Cheese | Puppies in the Kitchen

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or spray with cooking spray and spread out vegetables
  3. Place vegetables in oven and cook for 15 minutes
  4. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions
  5. In another saucepan, heat oil on medium heat and saute garlic for about 2 minutes
  6. Add flour to oil and garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute
  7. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly, and let thicken for about 5 minutes
  8. When milk sauce has gotten thick, add cheese and spices (if using) and stir until melted. Remove from heat
  9. After veggies have been cooking for 15 minutes, add chicken (if using) to tray and return to oven for another 5 minutes (otherwise just leave veggies in for 20 minutes)
  10. Add cooked pasta, veggies, and cheese sauce to a casserole dish and mix together
  11. Top with breadcrumbs and put under broiler for about 2 minutes
  12. Serve immediately