Meatless Monday - Baked Pesto Mac & Cheese

One of my passions is mac and cheese.  I love the warm comfy feeling I get when I have a hot bowl in a rich cheese sauce.  For years I would make mac and cheese with Velveeta.  For those not familiar, basically Velveeta is a called a “processed cheese food”. 

Changing my diet to remove processed foods saw my beloved mac & cheese go bye bye.  Just a few weeks ago I found a recipe for Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes.  I've modified that recipe to make this dish.

½ Medium box of dry elbow macaroni
1 small onion finely diced
1 tbsp. pesto
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 cups of milk
2 – 2 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of gourmet cheese – Gouda, Blue or Gorgonzola is great

The Macaroni – follow package instructions
Here you can use wheat macaroni or other substitute if there are gluten allergies.  Make sure to add salt to the water you’re cooking the macaroni in and remember it should be served al dente. 

Drain the macaroni well and add to a baking dish

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Sprinkle diced onions over macaroni

The Sauce
Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan
Add 1 tbsp. of Pesto
Photo Credit - Renee Olson
Mix in the flour and salt and whisk for one minute

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Stir in the milk and whisk
Cook and stir until the sauce has thickened
Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted
Pour over the macaroni and cover with foil

Bake for 30 minutes

Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Sometimes I could my macaroni a bit longer and skip the baking part.  I add enough of the cheese sauce to make a really creamy consistency and serve it right from the stove top.   Just another great way to join together Meatless Monday and bit of comfort food all in one.

Namaste & Blessed Be

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