Zucchini Mac n Cheese

Baked Mac n Cheese with Zucchini

Zucchini went on sale a month or so ago and I got a little excited. I only bought a little, but it somehow turned into this never-ending supply of grated zucchini in my freezer, individually packed in ziploc baggies of 1 cup each. This mac n cheese is one of my attempts at running down my pantry/freezer by the time I have to move for the summer. I had everything I needed in my fridge, so I just couldn’t turn down homemade mac n cheese.

In addition to running down my food supplies, I will also be selling about 3/4 of my apartment’s contents, including a very nice couch, a washer/dryer, and various chests of drawers and shelves. I will practically be giving them away if the buyer has their own way of getting the stuff out of my house. Moving is such a pain and the less stuff that needs to be moved by me, the better.

Btw, some of the best things one can have when moving, in my opinion, are an electric skillet and a crockpot. Using them, you don’t need to access your stove or microwave and you can usually find things like pancake mix, pre-cut veggies and small pieces of meat, and jarred sauces that require almost no prep work and are easy to mix together and cook. I will be posting some of those kind of recipes in the upcoming year, I am sure.

In the meantime, since I am not packing up my entire kitchen’s contents yet, I still have all of my pots and pans and access to my stove and so will share with you this mac n cheese recipe.

Gather all of your ingredients

Scald the milk with bay leaves to add flavor.

Melt the butter and mix the flour in to create a roux

Slowly add the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time.

Mix in the cheeses and zucchini, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss in the pasta and mix well.

Pour into an 8x8 pan.

Enjoy!

Baked Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4-6, adapted from Eats Well With Others

1 1/4 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb whole grain pasta
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/4 lb grated cheese (cheddar is great, though I used Colby)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups grated zucchini

1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Using a paper towel, try to wring as much water out of the grated zucchini as possible.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to the point where it’s almost done but not quite.  Drain it, rinse it quickly with cold water, and put it in a bowl.

3.  Cook the milk with the bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  When small bubbles appear along the sides, remove it from the heat and let it stand.

4. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns.  Remove the bay leaves from the milk and add 1/4 cup milk to the flour/butter mixture.  Whisk until smooth and then gradually add in the rest of the milk, whisking the whole time.  Whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Stir in the cheddar and remove from the heat.

5. Mix in the zucchini and parmesan, along with salt and pepper to taste, then the pasta.  Pour into an 8×8 inch baking pan.  Top with bread crumbs.  Bake until bubbling or the top is browned, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.  

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