A pan and serving dish both filled with 3-veg mac 'n' cheese

3-veg mac 'n' cheese

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(51 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 2 adults + 2 children

Sneak vegetables into macaroni cheese, a popular family meal that becomes even more nourishing for kids with the addition of butternut squash, leeks and peas

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (4 average portions)

  • kcal680
  • fat31g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs69g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre7g
  • protein29g
  • salt1.25g
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  • 150g butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 300g penne (we used Napolina 50% white 50% wholemeal)
  • 40g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 small leek, finely sliced (about 50g)



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 25g flour



    Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

  • 600ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 100g frozen peas



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • 175g mature Cheddar cheese (we used a vegetarian version)
  • 1 slice day-old brown bread, blitzed into crumbs


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the butternut squash in a steamer over boiling water. Steam for around 15-20 mins or until tender. Drain and then blitz in a food processor until smooth.

  2. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

  3. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan, add the leek and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 mins more. Take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Simmer for 5 mins. Stir in the peas and bring back to a simmer. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butternut squash, then 125g cheese.

  4. Stir the pasta into the sauce and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 mins or until golden and bubbling.

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Comments, questions and tips

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25th May, 2020
there is no mention of where the leek is added? any tips as to how I add the leak?
14th Jun, 2020
It’s in the first part of stage 3
Lucie.I's picture
6th Apr, 2020
Really nice recipe, I would really recommend it! Next time I will try instead of the butternut squash to put broccoli, tuna or something similar. But it was really nice, my family really liked it, great recipe!
6th Jan, 2020
Just tried this and it was a big hit with my 2 year old, but I have loads left over is it freezable
Alison O'Riordan's picture
Alison O'R...
14th Dec, 2019
We also loved this dish, but I used less pasta, 240g is plenty for 2 adults 2 children. Also, don't leave it any longer in the oven as it tends to dry out.
26th May, 2019
nourishing for children?
27th Jun, 2019
What point are you trying to make?
18th Nov, 2018
This was fantastic, the best I've ever made. It was gobbled up by everyone.
1st Feb, 2018
Would definitely recommend this, it’s a hit in my household everyone loves it and you can make it your own by adding different veg. We usually use ham, peas, broccoli and leeks and add bacon on top of the cheese
16th Sep, 2019
Can you make this recipe in advance of baking it (I.e. 8 hours before)?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can make this in advance and refrigerate. We'd suggest scattering the breadcrumb and cheese topping before popping in the oven. As it will be fridge-cold, we'd recommend cooking for an extra 5 mins or so on top of the stated cooking time.
15th Mar, 2018
Hi - Can you freeze this recipe as have heard you can freeze MnC before you get to the baking point at the end? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you could freeze before baking.
Mark Mountain's picture
Mark Mountain
29th Sep, 2019
Bit bland for me so I added a bit of nutmeg, garlic, parsley and seasoned.
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