Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The only way to up the mac and cheese game? EVERYTHING BAGELS. Today we’re making sneaky zucchini mac and cheese with everything bagel chip crumbs.

I can’t lie, my excitement is through the roof over this recipe.

There’s just something about mac and cheese that never gets old no matter how old you are. It’s a true classic that everyone can love. But you know what? I think it may just be a million times better with the addition of these everything bagel chips. I mean sure, the zucchini is great and all, it’s nice to incorporate a veggie into this cheesy bowl of carbs (so no guilt, right…right…), but let’s be real.

No one is jumping up and down over the zucchini. Nope, we’re jumping up and down with excitement about the everything bagel chips…or at least I am anyway.

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

When I was thinking up recipes for the month of August, I had a few things I wanted to keep in mind. One, I knew I wanted some of the recipes to center on easy, back to school (or just back to reality), dinners for families. Two, I knew I wanted to use up all the great summer produce hitting farm stands and grocery stores, therefore every recipe needed to use at least one summer produce item. And three? I wanted a few recipes that also screamed comfort food…I mean you’ve probably heard by now how difficult back to school was for me!

This mac and cheese happens to fit all three of those requirements.

Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner (hello to just ONE pot). Loaded to the brim with shredded zucchini…but trust me, no one will even know it’s there (thus the word sneaky in the title). The ultimate comfort food (hello to pasta, cheese, and everything bagels, aka comfort food at it’s finest). And most importantly…everyone will love it!

Now do you see why I am so excited?!

Side Note: another reason for this mac and cheese recipe? My younger brother, Red was home last week for the first time in months. Red’s a picky eater, but loves all things mac and cheese…and bagels, so I combined the two and snuck in some zucchini and the kid went back for seconds. Seconds people! This NEVER happens. Red’s also not a big eater, so I had to give myself a pat on the back for this recipe.

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Okay. Here is how this recipe works. I took the base recipe from my all time favorite mac and cheese recipe (that’s in my cookbook). It’s the easiest, bestest mac and cheese. You make the sauce and the cook the pasta all in the same pot. It might not seem like a ground breaking idea, but when you’re doing a million dishes a day, saving yourself even just one helps.

For this recipe, I used a combo of sharp cheddar and havarti cheese, giving us a super creamy sauce. I tossed in a good amount of shredded zucchini and seasoned it up with a little garlic powder and cayenne (use as little or as much as you like). I wanted to keep it simple because mac and cheese is best that way. I also wanted all the kids to be able to eat this mac. If you’re worried about the specs of green throwing your kids off, tell them it’s basil or another herb they might tolerate. This works for my brothers, hopefully it works for your kids too…

And then, the really good part.

The everything bagel chips. Ahhhh, these are so good. I mean, crunchy homemade bagel chips on top of mac and cheese? Do I even need to go on? All I think I need to say is that this is possibly the world’s most perfect combo and you need it in your life.

OH and yes, you can totally scoop the mac and cheese up with bagel chips too…which might be a great idea for game day eats? Yes, football season is just around the corner!

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 640 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss together the bagel pieces, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking until the bagels are golden and crisp. Remove from the oven.
    2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, 2 cups water and the pasta. Raise the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a low boil, stir frequently until the pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes, adding in 1/4 cup more water as needed until the pasta is al dente. It is important to stir the sauce often to insure the pasta is being evenly cooked. 
    3. Once the pasta is al dente, stir in the zucchini, all of the cheeses, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and coats the pasta, about 5-10 minutes.
    4. Divide the mac and cheese among bowls and top (generously) with crushed bagel chips. ENJOY!

Sneaky Zucchini Mac and Cheese with Everything Bagel Chip Crumbs | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, yes that is a giant bowl of mac and cheese. <–it’s the only way.

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Comments

  1. Hi Tieghan. This looks delicious!! I’m a macaroni and cheese novice, since I’m from Scandinavia and we don’t really do macaroni and cheese here.
    I was just wondering if you could bake this macaroni and cheese?

    Thank you for all the amazing recipes!

    1. Sure! I would bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Do you like to use white cheddar? Or regular? Also do you prefer to buy blocks of cheese and shred yourself? Or do you use pre shredded cheese? Thanks!

    1. I use white cheddar, but yellow is great too. I like to buy blocks of cheese and then shred. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thank you! ?

  3. I tried this and did not like it. It ended up being very bland in the flavoring aspect when I thought that the garlic and cayenne would add some oompfh.

  4. Another winner! My boyfriend and I GOBBLED this up last night. And those bagel chips? To die for. I made this with almond milk instead of regular whole milk and it was still delish! I CAN NOT WAIT until your cookbook comes out. So so so soon! You must be getting excited 🙂

    And I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma…I hope your family is hanging in there after the first week.

    1. Ah yay!! I was so excited t add the bagel chips so i’m so happy you liked them!
      I hope you love the cookbook!
      Thank you (:

  5. this recipe sounds AMA-zing! great way to get my husband and kids to eat vegetables! I have a question? Could I use Banza pasta? its a high protein pasta made from chick peas. Maybe cooking pasta separately and then folding it to the cheese?

    1. I have not tried it, but I think Banza pasta would be great! Hope the recipe is a hit all around! 🙂

  6. Not that this recipe needed anything added bubbi had some leftover chorizo that I threw on top of my bowl and it was AMAZING! Great recipe.

    1. I just blotted it off with a paper towel. Most of the moisture cooks off. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this!

  7. WOW! Really awesome recipe you have shared with us. Loved this so much. All of the posts are really very useful for 😀

  8. My lord, you have the best food photography in all the land!!! That mac and cheese looks so freaking good! Plus, it’s a great way to use up zucchini. Awesome post!

  9. I’m on the hunt for some good Mac and cheese recipes that can be made ahead and frozen for a month or two. Any chance this (or any of your other recipes) might be a good contender?

    1. This can be made ahead and frozen!! That works great (I have some in the freezer too!). Let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this mac and cheese!

  10. I mean, I’ll jump up and down over zucchini… Mix it in with mac and cheese though? I think I’ve just found my new favorite comfort food upgrade. Can’t wait to try!

  11. What a fabulous comfort food dish for back to school season Tieghan! Looks so creamy! LOVE the everything bagel chips!!

  12. Hi Tieghan! Always up for a good mac & cheese recipe! Question- does the zucchini impart any flavor at all? And could I sub 2% milk or is whole milk a must for overall creaminess?Just loving that this recipe gets veggies in while indulging a sweet tooth for comfort food!:) Trying it for tomorrow’s dinner- can’t wait!❤️

    1. Hi Gia! You really cannot taste the zucchini and don’t know it is there. Yes, you can use 2% milk! Let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love the mac and cheese!

  13. This looks sooo good!! Do you think you could veganise it by using unsweetened soy milk and dairy-free cheese? I am coincidentally making Jamie Oliver’s vegan mac and cheese this weekend, and the addition of zucchini sounds ideal!
    x

    1. I think soy milk will be great, but I am not familiar with vegan cheese so I can’t really say how that would be. Let me know if you have other questions. Hope veganizing this goes great!

  14. Such a brilliantly thought out recipe, Tieghan! I love anytime I can find ways to add in extra produce and mac and cheese is a no-brainer for comfort food cravings! Thanks for sharing, my dear!

  15. I love the idea of sneaking some zucchini into the mac and cheese . This might be a way to get my husband to eat some zucchini. Pinned!

  16. Looking forward to that cookbook! 🙂 And fall in general.

    Also love the use of zucchini in here, totally gave me an idea for tonight’s dinner.

    xo

  17. OMG!! You are giving me such ideas!! This recipe sounds so amazing and the bagel chips are perfect along with it. Yes! I totally believe in great food, with fresh ingredients, and make it fast and easy. YES! I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!! xoxo