There are two types of mac and cheese eaters in the world: the powdered-cheese-from-a-box fans and everyone else. If you're willing to step out of the former group, we strongly recommend you try this super-cheesy, veggie-packed version. No, we're not talking about those pasta and veg bakes that have a sprinkle of Parmesan on top; this is the real deal. Weirdly (and wonderfully), zucchini just melts into the b├ęchamel sauce, adding flavor and body to the mixture so you don't have to pour in tons more milk and cheese. Can you almost taste it through the screen? We thought so.

Zucchini Mac and Cheese

Recipe by: iFOODreal
Makes: 6 servings
Ready in: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 pound shredded zucchini (2 cups packed), not squeezed
4 ounces shredded cheddar or marble cheese (1 cup packed)
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
3 tablespoons butter, salted
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons milk of choice
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook pasta per package instructions, undercooking by a few minutes. You want pasta firm. Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat dutch oven or a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add flour slowly while whisking continuously. Add milk while whisking. Bring to a boil until a bit thickened and bubbly.

3. Add zucchini, stir well, reduce heat to low, and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and garlic powder and stir.

4. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add cooked pasta and mix well. Turn off heat. Adjust thickness with extra milk if necessary, and salt to taste. To store, refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 2-3 days.

zucchini mac and cheese iFOODreal
READ THIS NEXT: 26 Healthier Mac and Cheese Recipes That Still Taste Indulgent 34U34 Food Promo