It’s Friday and it’s cold here in Boston today. What is better on a cold day than a warm comforting bowl of mac and cheese.
I love mac and cheese. It is seriously my favorite food and I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it didn’t make my pants get smaller and smaller! Mac and cheese is great because it is versatile. You can use any cheese you have in the house and if you are throwing in veggies all different kinds are great so don’t be scared to swap out the peas in this recipe for broccoli or cauliflower.
I have tried a gazillion mac and cheese recipes over the years. I have made my own rue, baked it, made it in a skillet, a slow cooker, mixed it countless veggies and meats. You name it, I have tried it. Each recipe is different and good in it’s own way.
While I don’t suggest eating this recipe every day it is a MUCH healthier version, especially compared to those boxed brands with the powdered cheese that is full of chemicals you don’t even know how to pronounce (I am sorry Annies, I still love you <3). This recipe even fits into the nutrition plan I am following from the 21 Day Fix.
Even better, I only had to use TWO pots to cook this entire meal. #winning
If you are wondering how leftover for this heat up I got you covered. They head up great! The dish stayed creamy and it didn’t separate and get oily like some of the baked mac and cheese recipes I have made in the past.
If you are a mac and cheese lover like I am, definitely give this recipe a try! It is great on its own or as a side dish.
- 2 cups whole grain pasta shells (or any small pasta shape)
- 2.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup cheddar cheddar jack cheese (or just regular cheddar)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pink Himalayan salt (or sea salt), to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the pasta and almond milk in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the pasta is cooked through and most of the milk has reduced. Stir frequently to ensure the milk doesn’t burn.
- While the pasta is cooking heat the coconut oil in a saute pan over a medium heat.
- Add the minced garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes (optional) and cook until the garlic is fragrant (approx 1 minute).
- Add the frozen peas and saute until the peas are cooked through (approx 7-10 minutes).
- Once the pasta is cooked turn off the heat. Add the cheese, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper (to taste). Add the cooked peas and garlic mixture.
- Cover and let stand for a few minutes. Stir once more and serve.