This creamy macaroni and cheese incorporates pureed carrots and very little cheese for bright orange color. Nobody will ever know – it’s absolutely delicious!
With 5 kids, one thing I have learned over the years is that if food is colorful, it’s exciting to eat. While my kids will readily eat veggies quite generously and more than some other kids will, I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate those veggies into foods that they absolutely love.
Like cauliflower as an alfredo sauce – delish!
And red lentils in homemade marinara sauce – even yummier!
We’ve also done butternut squash in macaroni and cheese and that was quite a hit too. Who would have known?!
This time, pureed carrots in their macaroni and cheese – nobody would have any idea. I wasn’t sure how this mac and cheese would be received — after all, carrots are fairly noticeable, even when steamed and pureed But….. I figured that it was worth a try… after all, carrots are orange. Cheese is orange… and as long as they don’t see carrots cooking 😉
I cooked up about 4 medium carrots, and then pureed them with 1/4 C. water until they were very very smooth. Then I melted about 1/4 C. of butter in a skillet with 3 tablespoons of flour to make a thick roux – added 1/2 C. heavy cream, and then 2 cups of milk. I added some cheese – roughly 3/4 C. of cheddar and just under 1 C. of parmesan and waited for that to get thick, and melt together… before stirring in the pureed carrots.
As I turned around to drain the pasta, my husband came in to see what was cooking and stuck a huge spoon in the sauce, turned to me and said ” gosh – this is cheesy! How much cheese did you use? It is really rich!”
(See – even he had no idea! And I had the food processor out on the counter with the remainder of pureed carrots in there … so obvious to me, but he didn’t connect the dots!)
Once the pasta was done cooking, I drained it thoroughly before stirring into the sauce. Then I served up to my husband and kids, who are some pretty big macaroni and cheese fans.
Not one person noticed a thing – in fact, minutes later, empty bowls were left on the table and leftovers were kept and eaten the following day.
Pureed carrots are an incredible addition to macaroni and cheese – while at first you may think the intense flavor will be a dead giveaway, it really wasn’t.
The bright orange color and intense flavor tasted similar to a sauce heavy laden with cheese – when it wasn’t that at all.