Macaroni cheese 5 ways

We love mac and cheese in our house, but it goes against one of my basic food rules: although utterly delicious and my ultimate comfort food, there is no colour!

I am not a lover of a plate of beige – I really feel that when my plate is bursting with colour, it boosts my mood. It also makes me feel good knowing that I can tick off a couple more food groups – just adding a few veggies means that you are on your way to five-a-day.

So, with this in mind, I have compiled a list of ways to supercharge our favourite pasta dish!

  1. Salmon, peas and carrots:  cook 2 salmon fillets, remove the skin and flake.  Finely dice 2 carrots and cook along with 200g pea;  
  2. Spinach and tomato: chop 200g spinach and slice 200g tomatoes;
  3. Cauliflower: break a head of cauliflower into small florets and cook with the pasta;
  4. Broccoli: break a head of broccoli into small florets and cook with the pasta;
  5. Chorizo and spinach: chop the spinach and fry off 60g chorizo.

Step 1: Make your basic macaroni recipe

Step 2: Add your chosen extra ingredients at step 6

Step 3: Enjoy!

Serves 4:

  • 350 g pasta
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • 300 g cheddar grated
  • 1 tbsp mustard


  1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil.  Cook the pasta, according to cooking guidelines on the packet; drain well and set aside (remembering to reserve a ladle full of the cooking water for later)
  2. Melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a roux; allow it to cook for a few minutes
  3. Gradually whisk in the milk and add the mustard. Cook for 10- minutes until you have a thickened and smooth sauce
  4. Preheat the grill to hot
  5. Remove the sauce from the hob, add the cheese (reserving some to sprinkle on top) and stir until it is well combined and melted
  6. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and mix well
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place the dish under the hot grill. Cook until the cheese is browned and bubbling

Top tip: you can refrigerate or freeze leftovers.  Add a little warm water to loosen the sauce before reheating.

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