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Root Vegetable Mac ‘n Cheese

Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 8-10 as a side dish

Celery root, carrots and more make this mac ‘n cheese nutritious and delicious. Plus, adding pickled vegetables or giardiniera on top is a festive way to add texture and flavor.


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound carrots, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 pound celery root bulb, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes or 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pound whole grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni or other small-cut pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese (about 9 ounces), divided
  • 1/2 cup pickled vegetables or giardiniera salad, drained and finely chopped


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt it, add the carrots and celery root or parsnips and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a food processor and purée.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a second large pot of water to a boil. Salt it, add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
  3. While the pasta is working, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, then whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and Old Bay. Add in 2 cups cheddar and melt, stirring in a figure-eight motion with a wooden spoon.
  4. Pre-heat the broiler.
  5. Stir the pureed vegetables and cheese sauce into the pasta. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar. Broil until bubbly and brown, about 5 minutes. To serve, top with the pickled vegetables.