Carroty Mac and Cheese Recipe

Carroty Mac and Cheese Recipe
Staff Writer
Cookbook Cover

Andrew Scrivani

Cookbook Cover

Like most little kids, Dahlia loves macaroni and cheese, and I‘ve made it for her in many guises, running the gamut of techniques. My aim is always the same — to make the dish quickly with a minimum of fuss and to use a maximum of vegetables that she will tolerate and not pick out. 

This is one of both our favorites. It’s comforting, crusty-topped, soft-centered, and very cheesy — but not at all sophisticated. Just simple, kid-friendly, homemade food with the added grown-up appeal of lots of healthful carrots tossed into the mix.

It’s a straightforward recipe that comes together without much fuss, other than having to grate some carrots. But to make up for that, I’ve eliminated the need to make a cheese sauce on the top of the stove. Instead, I toss the hot pasta with grated Cheddar, butter, sour cream for creaminess, and eggs to hold it all together. The grated carrots get boiled along with the pasta, so cooking them isn’t an extra step. And the tiny orange shreds look so much like the Cheddar that your kids might not even notice they are there. Dahlia certainly hasn’t, and while I’ve never lied to her about their inclusion, I might have left out the word carrot in the dish description — accidentally, of course.

This is one of those macaroni and cheeses with an eggy custard base that puffs as it cooks, and is cut into squares to serve, like a casserole, as opposed to that gooey, creamy, stove-top béchamel sauce version. Feed this dish to the kids as is; grown-ups should indulge with a squirt of fiery Sriracha or other hot sauce all over the top.

You can vary the cheese to give this rather plain (if tasty) dish more personality. Gruyère, aged Cheddar, pecorino, and aged Gouda will all add a sophisticated allure that will raise it above mere kids’ food.

Click here to see the Outstanding Mac and Cheese Recipes story.

6
Servings
1105
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

*Note: If you’re grating your Cheddar cheese in the food processor, you don’t have to wash out the machine before grating the carrots, or vice versa.

Ingredients

  • 1/2  stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt, plus more for cooking pasta
  • 2  cups  whole-wheat macaroni
  • 2 1/2  cups  carrot, grated coarsely
  • 3  cups  sharp Cheddar cheese, grated*
  • 3/4  cups  sour cream
  • 1/4  cup  whole milk
  • large eggs
  • 3/4  teaspoons  mustard powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  Parmesan cheese, grated finely

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven.

Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Add the carrot 3 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking and drain well. While the pasta is hot, stir in the butter and 2 ½ cups of the Cheddar cheese.

In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, salt, mustard powder, and pepper. Fold the mixture into the pasta. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheese and Parmesan over the top. Bake until the casserole is firm to the touch and golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
64g
91%
Sugar
21g
23%
Saturated Fat
36g
100%
Cholesterol
31mg
10%
Carbohydrate, by difference
115g
88%
Protein
23g
50%
Vitamin A, RAE
77µg
11%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
4mg
5%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
1µg
1%
Calcium, Ca
388mg
39%
Choline, total
31mg
7%
Fiber, total dietary
5g
20%
Fluoride, F
1µg
0%
Folate, total
264µg
66%
Iron, Fe
7mg
39%
Magnesium, Mg
75mg
23%
Manganese, Mn
2mg
100%
Niacin
7mg
50%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
589mg
84%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
35µg
64%
Sodium, Na
1526mg
100%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
82g
3%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Carrot Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age and damage.

Carrot Cooking Tip

Vegetables should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.