macaroni cheese with spinach

Vegetable Mac & Cheese

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (40 votes, average: 3.98 out of 5)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 13 ingredients

Mac and cheese is everyone’s favorite comfort food, especially children. Make this vegetable mac & cheese with whole-wheat pasta and cancer-fighting cruciferous veggies, and it becomes an inexpensive, healthy meal that will help...


  • ½  pound whole wheat pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½  small cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 ½  cups spinach
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Nutrition Facts


542 cals


27 g

Saturated Fat

16 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

8 g


58 g


7 g


2 g


22 g


649 mg


  1. Cook pasta until barely al-dente (so it still has a bite).
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the bechamel sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour then cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture (known as a roux) turns a very light golden brown. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until the sauce is smooth and the milk has been incorporated. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently, stirring regularly, until the sauce is smooth and thick. Add the nutmeg and cheese. Season to taste. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil In a sauté pan over medium high flame.  Add the chopped cauliflower and sauté until the cauliflower is soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the spinach to the cauliflower and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl mix together béchamel sauce, cooked pasta, cauliflower, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. Place in a greased casserole dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Chef Tips

If using fresh cauliflower, to speed things up in step 3, break the cauliflower into florets, and steam or microwave for 3 minutes before chopping and sautéing. You can do this ahead of time and freeze any extra you don’t need.

Registered Dietitian Approved

All our recipes are created by chefs and reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the  Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed.,  published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Leave a Review