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Veggie Mac

We’ve been cooking at home quite a bit lately. But getting creative can be exhausting! It’s always nice to have a tried and true go to dish at your fingertips when you have to work late or the baby is fussy.

Our go-to dish is this easy Veggie Mac. It’s easy to make, full of veggies to fill you up (and make you feel better about eating mac n cheese more than one night a week… oops), and costs less than $5 to feed two people – wine not included, of course.

That’s right, our go-to quarantine weeknight meal is a budget friendly, college favorite. This used to be our special date night meal back in the day and we still love it! Pair with a chilled white wine (I like a good Sauvignon Blanc), call it “Pasta with Garden Fresh Summer Vegetables and a Béchamel Sauce”, put up a picture of Santorini on the TV and pretend like you’re at a five star resort – quarantine style!

This is a great recipe if you’re trying to save some money! We try to have a stash of mac n cheese (<$1 if you stock up at Costco, or ~$1.30 if you buy individually) in our pantry at all times. Veggies are cost effective as well! For the amount of veggies you use in this dish, it typically only costs us another $2-$3. Not bad during these difficult times!

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Veggie Mac

A budget friendly weeknight staple full of fresh veggies and a childhood favorite.

  • Author: Anuja
  • Yield: 2 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 box mac n cheese (your favorite variety)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste (or 2 cloves garlic, smashed, then finely diced)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 3 leaves Basil, chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta according to package instructions.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add onions. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Add zucchini, sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add bell peppers and spinach and sauté until spinach wilts.
  6. Add milk, the cheese packet from the mac n cheese, and the garlic. Stir until the powder is dissolved.
  7. Add pasta and butter and mix thoroughly. Salt if desired.
  8. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil and serve!

What’s your fave weeknight meal? Have any budget friendly recipes you’d like to share? Drop them in the comments below!

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