Baked Mac n Cheese Primavera {Recipe ReDux}

November 21, 2012

I’m interrupting the scheduled programming of Thanksgiving Day preparations to bring you this month’s Recipe ReDux. This month we were challenged to ReDux an old cookbook or recipe card recipe and make a Vintage Side Dish. My original plan was to make my version of my mother’s noodle kugel, but as I was making dinner the other night I happened upon a brand new ReDux.

I set out to make a fall version of this Cheesy Pasta PrimaveraΒ with leftover kale, mushrooms, and cauliflower. I had also recently received the new My Recipes cookbook, “America’s Favorite Food: 200 top-rated recipes from the country’s best magazines” (September 2012) (more on that to come!) and saw a similar recipe for Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta and Collard Greens. I’ve always loved macaroni and cheese – it was one of the few go to meals I would eat when I was little (yes, I was a picky eater!). And these days I have a hard time resisting the gourmet renditions that have popped up on so many menus. With the inspiration from the recipes above and my own modifications to make them healthier and use the ingredients I had on hand, I ended up with a delicious mac n cheese ReDux. Although I didn’t make it as a side dish, it would be a great side that everyone at the table can share.

Baked macaroni and cheese primavera filled with cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, and cheesy goodness!

Baked Mac n Cheese Primavera

A pasta primavera variation on baked macaroni and cheese.
Course Entree, Main Dish, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 (for main), 10 (for side dish)
Author Jessica Levinson


  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 3 ounces chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a medium to large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and saute 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute 3 minutes. Add kale and saute 2 minutes. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes until kale is tender.
  4. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with flour. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring well. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Remove from heat.
  5. Add a drop of olive oil to pasta pot and add pasta back to the pot. Add the vegetable mixture, Asiago cheese, and salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Toss to combine.
  6. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and browned on top.

Do you like mac n cheese? What’s your favorite Vintage Side Dish?

For more ReDux’ed side dishes, check out my fellow ReDuxer’s recipes below.

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Recipe Rating

  1. That. looks. amazing. Seriously so delish! I’m adding that to my rotation this week and will likely add some turkey to it, too! YUM.

  2. I like the addition of kale–I wouldn’t have thought of it! We make our mac and cheese from scratch, can’t do the boxed stuff, and usually with cheddar cheese. I like your version and my hubby will be happy to have mac and cheese soon πŸ™‚