I’m being very high maintenance today.

Yes. I am asking you to roast a pan of vegetables. And THEN make an entire dish of mac and cheese.

Too much?

But it’s MAC AND CHEESE! Won’t you do anything for mac and cheese? Just me?

See, I really don’t take issue with such things, probably because I will forever prefer my vegetables in a bath of cheese sauce over some simple salt and pepper.

Here’s the deal: if you’re going to ask me if it is really imperative that you roast the veggies? The answer is yes. Heck, grill them if you want. Roast them ahead of time. Just get that flavor. This dish was inspired by a frittata with queso that I had at the aviary brunch a few weeks ago. I don’t even like fritattas and I can’t stop thinking about it. I mean, we are talking about a fritatta, not only with creamy queso cheese, but also with roasted vegetables like corn. It was to die for. I’m trying to vehemently to recreate that fritatta recipe for the book right now in the last hour, after I finished the recipes months ago. THAT’s how much I loved it.

So now? It’s like I can’t possibly eat something with cheese sauce without roasted veg. I mean, if it was up to me I’d probably only include grilled corn or something. Maybe throw in a little roasted red pepper. But since I love my invisible internet friends and know that most normal people actually eat vegetables and like eating vegetables (how foreign), I added a few more.

Plus this gave me an excellent excuse to eat a second helping of mac and cheese. As if you even need an excuse.


Roasted Summer Vegetable Mac + Cheese

Yield: serves 6-8

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


4 ears fresh corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small summer squash, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2-3/4 pound whole wheat shell noodles
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk (preferably 2% or whole)
8 ounces havarti cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup seasoned fine bread crumbs
1 avocado, sliced for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, combine corn, peppers, squash and onions with salt and pepper. Whisk together olive oil and vinegar, then add over top and toss to coat. Spread on the baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes.

When the veggies are almost finished roasting, bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions - shaving 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time.

To make the cheese sauce, heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add flour and whisk constantly to create a roux, until golden and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk and whisk constantly, stirring until the mixture slightly thickens. Reduce heat to low and add in 6 ounces of the havarti and cheddar and all of the parmesan, along with the minced garlic. Stir until cheese melts and sauce is thick. Taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper if desired. I usually add a pinch of nutmeg.

Add cooked pasta and vegetables to a large baking dish, tossing to coat. Pour cheese soup over top and stir to evenly distribute. Cover the top the the remaining havarti and cheddar, then the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly on top. Serve with sliced avocado if desired.

Avocado optional. (but if you love me you’ll do it.)

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81 Responses to “Roasted Summer Vegetable Mac + Cheese.”

  1. #
    Tieghan — June 27, 2013 @ 6:54 am

    Not too high maintenance for me! Roasted veggies are were it is at and mac and cheese? I mean come on! I have to make this.


  2. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — June 27, 2013 @ 6:55 am

    Now that is what I call a bowl of Mac and Cheese! I love the vegetables that you used! So creative and a great way to get your family to eat there vegetables! Love It!!!


  3. #
    Jamie @lifelovelemons — June 27, 2013 @ 6:58 am

    Sooooo high maintenance… sooo worth it!


  4. #
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche — June 27, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    I love roasted veg in just about anything, and I love just about anything in macaroni cheese. So yes. I will do this.


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 27, 2013 @ 7:06 am

    This is a very fancy mac and cheese! As a kid, I don’t think it ever even crossed my mind to put vegetables in my Kraft Dinner (unless they were tomatoes, in the form of ketchup, in which case I got plenty – and a tomato technically isn’t even a vegetable). Adult me on the other hand, thinks this is a great idea!


  6. #
    Karen — June 27, 2013 @ 7:14 am

    This looks so fantastic! And P.S. I can’t wait for your book! I love cookbooks and the majority of my Pinterest boards are your recipes anyway, so I can’t wait to have a book of your recipes!


  7. #
    ashley - baker by nature — June 27, 2013 @ 7:18 am

    I would do ANYTHING for a bowl of this fancy, veggie studded, mac. Like… anything!


  8. #
    Rachel Cooks — June 27, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    I love you for this recipe! Wish I could snap my fingers and have it appear for breakfast this morning!


  9. #
    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me — June 27, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    I will roast the vegetables. Just because you said so. And also because your recipe calls for Havarti cheese. YESSSSSS.
    I have been making a little sort of open-faced sort of grill pocket with foil and cooking all my vegetables that way because me and the oven are not really friends right now (it’s HOOOOT) and it totally works great!!


  10. #
    peabody — June 27, 2013 @ 7:49 am

    Now that’s how you get your veggies in!


  11. #
    Katie — June 27, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    Heck the the yes. Roasted veggies are my favorite thing on earth to make (I know, so boring, but those colors are just so pretty!) so I’m all over it.


  12. #
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — June 27, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I’ve had regular mac n’ cheese before, but never with veggies. What an awesome idea!


  13. #
    Lauren @ The Highlands Life — June 27, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    Girl. I love me some Mac and cheese. And roasted veggies? Yes please.


  14. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 27, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    I’d do anything for mac and cheese and this looks awesome!! Love it!


  15. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — June 27, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    roasted veggies and mac ‘n cheese? yum! the avocado on top is perfection.


  16. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — June 27, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    Nothing is ever too much for mac and cheese. Pre roasted veggies are great for a quick meal. I normally have a stash in my fridge; I love the roasted veggies in jaffles or even in a grilled cheese.
    Having veggies in it makes it totally acceptable as a grown up meal.


  17. #
    Alisha @ Gluten Free Perspective — June 27, 2013 @ 8:30 am

    I’m already have a ton of squash and zucchini, so this looks like the perfect way to use ’em up! Mac and cheese is always, always a good idea.


  18. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — June 27, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    The photo with the steam is amazing, but also enough to not want me to make my house any hotter than it’s been this week! :)


  19. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 27, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    Wow this looks incredible! I just made mac n cheese for another project I’ve been working on and I wish I could have added some veggies! It has to be traditional mac n cheese but I much prefer all your gorgeous chunky veggies!


  20. #
    John — June 27, 2013 @ 9:01 am

    Nice, I was thinking about making a mac n cheese with less pasta, and this looks like a great alternative. I tend to roast vegetables in the summer for gazpacho anyway.


  21. #
    Liz {What Dress Code?} — June 27, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    This sounds like the ultimate combination — everything’s better roasted, and of course everything’s better topped with cheese!


  22. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — June 27, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    The avocado on top just completes it! Perfection!


  23. #
    Rachel @ My Urban Oven — June 27, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    I love Mac N Cheese but The Boy always says it is too unhealthy to eat on a regular basis, but he loves veggies. He is a weird. I know he will LOVE this! AHHH It isn’t even 9 am yet, and you have me wanting dinner!


  24. #
    Christina @ Pinch of Healthy — June 27, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    I’m definitely on a mac and cheese kick right now and have made a different version each week for a month now, will have to continue the trend with this recipe!


  25. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 27, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    If you need me I’ll be at the bottom of that bowl.


  26. #
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — June 27, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    Mmmmm…looks delicious and comforting! :)


  27. #
    Julia — June 27, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    This looks so delicious! I have to make this, it’s just my kind of food!


  28. #
    Natalie — June 27, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    This is going to be so freaking delicious.
    I’m gonna want to punch babies.
    Making it this weekend for my friends and I!!


  29. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — June 27, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    I rarely feel like I can smell an actual picture but that pan of roasted veggies with the steam coming off is the closest I’ve gotten to smelling a picture.


  30. #
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee — June 27, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    That really looks incredible! Thinking I might need to scale back on the cheese and milk for the sake of my tummy…


  31. #
    TamTam — June 27, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    Ohh, the avocado on top looks DELICIOUS! I’m not a fan of some of the veggies listed, but I do believe I’ll be tweaking this to roast veggies that I like, and serving with LOTS of avocado slices!


  32. #
    Ashley — June 27, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    Yes, yes, and yes again.


  33. #
    Stephanie — June 27, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    this reminds me of your autumn mac and cheese (which is so yummy). do you have spring and winter mac and cheeses developed yet? i’ll have to make those too.


  34. #
    Marcie @ Flavor the Moments — June 27, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    This is a fabulous idea. I love my roasted veggies, and it makes perfect sense to put them in something else I love — mac ‘n cheese!


  35. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — June 27, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    Its never too much work when you are talking about mac and cheese!


  36. #
    Maria Tadic — June 27, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    I totally agree – roasted vegetables are the best! Especially the corn. Geesh, can you get any more delicious?!


  37. #
    Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk — June 27, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

    I like where you’re heads at with this one…veggies swimming in cheese?! Mmm, mmm, mmm.


  38. #
    Larry — June 27, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

    This is EXACTLY what I need in my mouth right now.
    (that’s what she said)


  39. #
    Jennifer — June 27, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    OMG yes PLEASE!

    xo Jennifer



  40. #
    Kim — June 27, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

    I’ve harvested 2 summer squash that volunteered in my garden. Now I have a recipe for them. Thanks, Jessica!!!!


  41. #
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — June 27, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    Roasted veggies mac and cheese?!? Brilliant!!


  42. #
    Jenni — June 27, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    There is just no end to your mouthwatering creations, is there? I love roasted vegetables. Steamed veggies are for stupid people. Who would steam vegetables when they taste close to five zillion times better roasted? Plus, put down a sheet of parchment paper and the cleanup is virtually nada. I really want to find a good vegan cheese sauce recipe (one with nutritional yeast, for sure!) and replicate this mac. Definitely with the avocado on top.


  43. #
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green — June 27, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

    Wow, now that’s a grown up mac and cheese! I love all of the veggies you have in there, awesome!


  44. #
    Cristina — June 27, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    So happy to see this recipe today. Two nights ago I roasted a nearly identical list of vegetables (I had mushrooms instead of summer squash). I just wanted to get them out of the fridge before they went bad. I didn’t really know what direction I was going in, and I ended up just throwing them in with pasta and plenty of garlic and Parmesan. My sister was pretty down on the idea of corn in her pasta at first.. but she ended up surprised at how much she liked it. Mac and Cheese would have been so much more delicious.. I’ll have to do this next time!


  45. #
    Megan — June 27, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

    This looks like the bomb.com. I’m so hungry right now, and this looks like an MF dream.


  46. #
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — June 27, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    This is my kind of mac and cheese, love the summer veggies!


  47. #
    janice / twoaftertwenty — June 27, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

    Has anyone ever told you you are a magician?

    Because you are. A MAGICIAN of food.

    This looks amazing.


  48. #
    Potatoes and Pilates — June 27, 2013 @ 5:46 pm

    Who says you can’t have your mac & cheese AND colourful veggies too!?

    This looks y.u.m.m.y.


  49. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — June 27, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    I will roast those veggies. And the avocado…hell yea!


  50. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — June 27, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

    Two things are worth the oven time: roasted veggies and roasted garlic. Tootally acceptable!



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