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Macaroni & Veggies Gratin

Macaroni & Veggies Gratin

I love this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) cooking theme. It's about making sauces. There are five classic mother sauces: béchamel, hollandaise, velouté, tomato, and espagnole. I love the clear and concise explanations about each sauce, written by the admin on this page.

This time, I choose to bake Jacques Pépin's gratin dish that incorporates béchamel, a smooth white sauce made from combining butter and flour, then whisking in milk. His original recipe is called Gratin of Penne and Vegetables. I substitute penne with macaroni and I add in more types of cheeses.

Recipe adapted from here.

(Serves 2)

3/4 cup dried macaroni pasta
2 cups broccoli flowerets, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

The béchamel sauce: 
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. Set aside.
2. Boil 2 cups of water with some salt in a large pot. Add macaroni pasta. Cook until just tender (about 8 minutes). Drain (reserve 1/3 cup pasta water) and set aside.
3. In the same pot, add in the reserved pasta water and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, red pepper, and olive oil. Mix well. Add spinach and cook until wilted. The water in the pot should be almost evaporated. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside.
4. To make the béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and whisk continuously to avoid burning. Stir in milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue whisking until the mixture is lightly thickened. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper, then return to the boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
5. When ready to bake, mix together the macaroni, vegetables, and bechamel sauce. Then, stir in the cheeses. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese on top.
6. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Before baking. See the lovely béchamel sauce.

Don't wait. Dig in now! Best eaten once baked. :)

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, The Mother Of All Sauces!


  1. Oooh. Cheesy and rich. I like this gratin

  2. Hi Joyce,
    Love your macaroni and veggies gratin. Yum Yum!
    Substitute penne with macaroni sound great!

  3. Hi Joyce,

    Every serve of your macaroni gratin is so fully packed of vege... Oh! I like!


  4. I love that this macaroni dish is filled with so many colorful veggies. Very pretty! I'm sure you're entire family was pleased.

  5. I love this week's theme and what you've done with it Beautiful dish with colorful veggies, fit for kids and adults.

  6. OH, Yes, please!! This looks sooooo good.And the veggies are so colorful with this dish.