Mexican Mac And Cheese

This zesty mac and cheese uses chickpea pasta to boost the protein to 28 grams per serving and also packs loads of veggies, which ups the fiber content to 11 grams. Look for the new bean-based pastas in grocery stores and online.

Ingredients for servings

    mac and cheese

  • 8 ounces chickpea elbow pasta used Banza

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and chopped

  • 0.5 cup onion chopped

  • 0.25 cup fresh corn kernels or defrosted frozen corn

  • 1 medium zucchini chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1.5 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 2 cups 2% milk

  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese divided

  • 0.5 teaspoon salt

  • 1 medium tomato sliced


  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) and spray an 8-inch (20.3cm) square baking dish with cooking spray. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and pour into the prepared baking dish. Reserve the pan used to cook the pasta.

  • In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté until tender, 3 minutes. Add the corn and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cumin, removed from heat and set aside.

  • Place the flour in the pot used to boil the pasta. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking frequently, until bubbly, 4 minutes. (Be careful the sauce doesn’t begin to scorch on the bottom of the pot.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt and half the cheese. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and pasta in the baking dish and stir to combine.

  • Top with the slices of tomato and the remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is bubbly, 15 minutes.

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