Mac and Cheese in an eco rascals bowl

The Ultimate Mac and Cheese Recipe

Jul 07, 2023Celeidh Cook

Macaroni and cheese, Mac n' Cheese, Cheesy Mac (or whatever you like to call it) originated in Italy, where a similar dish made with pasta and grated Parmesan cheese existed. It was popularised in the United States by Thomas Jefferson, who encountered it during his travels and introduced it to American cuisine. Over time, it evolved into the beloved comfort food we know today.

Mac and Cheese, the quintessential comfort food, is a timeless classic loved by people of all ages. The combination of creamy cheese and perfectly cooked pasta is simply irresistible. 

Hidden Vegetables Macaroni and cheese


There are several ways to make Mac and Cheese and the classic recipe usually calls for macaroni pasta, milk, butter, flour, cheese and some seasoning. Here at eco rascals, we're always looking for ways to increase the nutritional density of the meal we're offering our little ones and have found the ultimate Mac and Cheese recipe that's bursting with flavour and packed with 3 hidden vegetables! 

Cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse, providing an abundance of vitamins C and K, folate, fiber, and antioxidants. It supports a healthy immune system, aids digestion, and contributes to overall well-being.

Butternut squash is rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. It supports a healthy immune system, promotes eye health, aids digestion, and contributes to a balanced diet.

Carrots are packed with nutrients, including beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. They promote good vision, support immune function and aids in digestion. Plus, they make us see in the dark, right? 


In recent years, Mac and Cheese has experienced a culinary renaissance. Chefs and food enthusiasts have elevated this humble dish, experimenting with gourmet versions that feature artisanal cheeses, creative add-ins like lobster or truffle oil, and unique pasta shapes. Mac and Cheese has also become a popular comfort food in various international cuisines, with regional twists and flavour combinations.


You can store your Mac n' Cheese in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator or you can batch cook and freeze them for up to six months. For best results, reheat in the oven at a medium temperature for 75 minutes.


Hidden Vegetable Mac N Cheese

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes


3 cups of Macaroni Pasta (450g)

1 1/2 cups of water (350ml)
1 cup Cauliflower (100g)
1 cup Butternut Squash (200g)
1 cup Carrots (125g)
2 cups Milk (470ml)
2 cups Cheddar Cheese (450g)
1/2 cup of Cream Cheese (110g)
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Bring your water to the boil in a large saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, cut your cauliflower, butternut squash and carrots into cubes/florets - this can be a rough chop as it will be blended.

3. Cook the vegetables in the boiling water until they turn soft.

4. Take the pan off the heat and blend the vegetables with a hand blender until smooth.

5. Put the pan back onto the heat and add the milk to the pan and stir well.

6. Add both cheeses to the pan and continue stirring.

7. In a separate pan, cook 400g of macaroni cheese as it describes on the packet.

8. Add the cooked macaroni cheese to the cheese and vegetable sauce. 

9. Cover for 20 minutes and simmer on a low heat or pour into an oven proof dish and bake it for 45 minutes.

10. Ready to serve in your favourite eco rascals bamboo bowl and spoon set

 Expert Tips 

Macaroni and Cheese is such a delicious dish. We've played around with it a lot at home and find that it's even more delicious with these simple tips:

Freshly grate your cheese: This will save you money and does make it taste that little bit fresher!

Combine cheeses: Play around with your favourite cheese combinations. We used cheddar and cream cheese in our recipe but parmesan and gruyere are also perfect choices. 

Experiment with flavour: Garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder, paprika are just a few of the added seasonings you can include. 

Keep an eye on the pasta: Al Dente is what you're looking for! Do not overcook the pasta!

Add breadcrumbs: If you are baking your macaroni and cheese, then add some breadcrumbs on top to make it crunchy.

Can you make it vegan?

We get asked this a lot! The answer is yes - this sauce works perfectly with dairy free alternatives. Swap out the milk, cheddar and cream cheese with vegan butter,  coconut milk, vegetable stock and nutritional yeast. 

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